Autism And Theory Of Mind: What Is Religion?

pagoda in gray scale shot

There is no one answer to this question, as the definition of religion varies from person to person. However, many believe that religion is a system of beliefs and practices related to sacred things or matters of the spirit. In other words, religion is about connecting with something larger than oneself.

shinto shrine in blue lake in japan
Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata on Pexels.com

For people with autism, this can be a challenge. Many autistic individuals have difficulty understanding and relating to others, which can make it difficult to form strong religious connections. However, there are some ways that autistic people can connect with religion, even if their understanding of it may be different from those around them.

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One way that autistic people can connect with religion is through symbolism. For example, many religious ceremonies involve objects that represent spiritual concepts. Churches may display crosses, which represent the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Star of David is associated with Judaism, and the crescent moon often represents Islam. Many books about religion utilize symbols to depict their messages in a straightforward way.

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Autistic people who struggle with abstract language might prefer more concrete explanations. They may relate better to religious concepts through objects or images they can see and touch than by listening to stories or reciting prayers . Religious ceremonies involving physical rituals, such as lighting candles or saying grace before meals , may help autistic individuals feel a sense of connection with others who are partaking in these practices.

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One interesting example of a non-religious ritual that has helped autistic children is taking fish oil supplements every night before bedtime. The child’s parents report that their child has become more agreeable and cooperative since starting the ritual. While there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, it is an example of how a specific routine can help an autistic individual feel more connected and supported.

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Ultimately,

There is no one right way to connect with religion as an autistic person. What matters most is that you find practices or rituals that make you feel comfortable and connected. Whatever your religion may be, may it bring you peace and comfort.

If you’re like me, an atheist, welcome to my world 🙂

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