This time, I’m interviewing the Moderator for my Autistic Christians Facebook group, Steve Condrey.
1. What is your denomination? How long have you been a Christian?
I am officially a Baptist (my baptism was through a Southern Baptist-affiliated church), but I see myself as a nondenominational progressive. I first professed Christ as my Savior in October 1982, and while I may not have been the most faithful of believers, I have never once stopped believing and acknowledging Christ’s lordship.
2. What was your childhood like?
My parents were believers, but for the most part not actively churchgoing. They stopped going to church regularly once the church started getting heavily involved in politics. My parents were tough-minded, no-nonsense people. Dad was a Marine and mom was a floor nurse–two professions notorious for not taking nonsense from anyone. They were however, very fair-minded and even though they didn’t know any more about autism spectrum issues in the 1970’s and 1980’s they did their best. Frequently they did much better than the professionals recommended!
3. How did you meet your wife?
I met my wife offline in 2003 when Yahoo Personals was still in business. It is the first marriage for both of us after a lot of very dysfunctional relationships.
4. When were you diagnosed? Have your children been diagnosed as well?
I was diagnosed in April 2008, shortly after being placed with our son. The challenges of marriage were more than enough to stress my usual coping mechanisms beyond the limit; parenthood only made the situation more stressful. After a series of referrals, I ended up with an excellent neuropsychologist who pinned the problem down in a single office visit! My son (adopted and no genetic relation to me at all) was formally diagnosed this year; we had suspected he was on the spectrum, and some of the people who worked with him back in California thought so as well but the diagnosis was always considered of secondary or lower importance compared to his severe ADHD. My daughter is so far as we know neurotypical but still very bright.