One of the most common questions to cross the mind of the parent of a special-needs child, even if only for a split second, is, very simply, “Why?” For me, this question didn’t find a permanent home in my heart, but it definitely reared its head among an occasional flood of tears. “Why,” I thought to myself, as I knelt before God, “are you allowing this to happen?” And, afraid to overstep my boundaries with the God who made everything, yet unable to hold my tongue any longer, I found myself crying out, “Why, God, why? My son is just a defenseless little boy. He’s just a boy!”
Paul Powell and his wife Sonya had their first child, Matthew, in 2003, just one year after being married. Almost three years later, following suspicions that their son may have developmental delays, their fears were confirmed when Matthew was diagnosed with autism. The discovery led them on a life-changing pursuit of therapies, interventions, and biomedical treatments for their son. Along the way they experienced a rerouting of their lives in every imaginable area, from marriage and finances to friendships, professional aspirations, and their daily schedules. The one area they did not expect to endure such a drastic upheaval was their twenty-year walk with God. Told from Paul’s perspective, From Autistic to Awesome is a true and revealing story about navigating the emotional and spiritual highs and lows encountered as they fought for their special-needs son, their family, and their faith.