Will I Have Asperger’s Syndrome in Heaven?

by Roger Barrier

Dear Roger,

I have Asperger’s Syndrome (a type of autism). Do I retain this characteristic or will Jesus Christ remove that condition from me? I actually like being able to do complex math and I’m not wild about being around other humans so being an Aspie doesn’t bother me.

Sincerely, Craig


Dear Craig,


I believe that my dad had a touch of Asperger’s Syndrome. It is important that our readers understand that Asperger’s syndrome is a disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. Most Asperger’s are also brilliant in several areas. The intensity of the syndrome varies greatly from person to person.


In very simple terms I like to think of Asperger’s as being on a brain spectrum which extends from “Normal” to Asperger’s to Autism. Most autistic persons are male. Moving along the spectrum we find engineers who are quite structured and build great things but who tend to be somewhat more socially inhibited than females. Many of them don’t tend to talk a lot. On the other side of the spectrum we find women in many more social interaction activities and relationship settings. At the other end of the spectrum, women are also much more likely to lose their keys.


My dad was a great dad; however, socially, he could say the strangest things at times. He thought that he was being clever; yet, many times in public we never knew what he was going to say next. He could embarrass us all in an instant.


I remember once standing in line at a convenience store as Dad was handing money to the cashier. He said, “I bet it would be easy to dip your hand in the till and take money with no one knowing. Have you ever thought about doing it?” We all cringed. To Dad, that was just a normal question from his curious mind. To the rest of us, it was questioning the integrity of the cashier and inappropriate probing into their privacy.


Nevertheless, he was able to interact well in many settings. For example, he was the vice president in charge of finances for a major airline for 40 years. He had a great mind for numbers, details, budgets and profit forecasting. His tendency toward Asperger’s served him well in many settings.


I have some of Dad’s symptoms. My mind is sharp and quick. I am great with numbers and details but I tend to keep quiet in social settings because people tend to look strangely at me after some of the things I say. My family is constantly telling me to be careful what I say in public. The other day my son-in-law and I were driving when I saw some boys playing basketball. I said to Ricky, “Pull over.” He said, “No.” Roll your window back, up, I don’t want you to say anything to them.” I am learning to analyze carefully what I am about to say to see if I really want to say it. Most of the time, I desist.


The good thing is that God can use folks who struggle with Asperger’s just like He can use anyone else in the Kingdom.


One of the best things about my Dad’s tendency toward Asperger’s was his constant repetition of things he had said before. He often struggled with new things to say in social settings, so he would return to things he had said before in similar situations. I was embarrassed for him sometimes when he repeated the same things over and over. Some of this has genetically “rubbed” off on me. I remember once finishing a round of golf with two men I had never met before. As we walked off the final green I told the two how much fun I’d had, how impressed I was with their games and how much I would like to play with them again. They said, “Thanks.” Then I repeated the same words again and they said, “Thanks.” Then I repeated them again, and again, and again. Nothing seemed unusual until one of the men turned to my long-time-golfing buddy and said, “Is he making fun of us?” My friend said, “No, he just gets this way sometimes.”


The beautiful thing is that the good things Dad repeated took deep root in my soul.


Every time we selected something to buy, he repeated, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price has been forgotten.” I got really tired of hearing that; but, in a good way, his repetition affects every purchase I make these days.


Whenever he faced life’s difficulties, he repeated Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I remember the moment when his doctor told him that no more medicines were available to fight his cancer.

“Well, then, what are we going to try next,” dad asked.

“There is no next,” said the doctor.

As the reality of impending death sunk in, Dad looked at me and said, “Well,” and then he paused and thought for a while. Finally, he whispered quietly to himself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” If I heard him say it once I heard him say it a thousand times. I was sick of hearing it. Now, I say it all the time—and I am the better man and Christian for it.


I am glad, Craig, that you have made peace with your Asperger’s and now find many aspects of it to have positive impact in your life. I am reminded that God has designed us even before we are born to have our place in the Kingdom. I believe that He makes no mistakes in these areas. David wrote in Psalm 139:13-16:


For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be.


When God called Jeremiah to full-time service as a prophet, He told Jeremiah that he was custom-designed for the task: “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4-5).


I believe that Jesus will use you and your Asperger’s well in the Kingdom here on earth.


Now, concerning whether or not you will have Asperger’s in Heaven, I really don’t know. However, it may be that 1 John 3:2-3 trumps all other considerations. Paul wrote, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”



Craig, I really appreciate your question. I know there are many people who have Asperger’s or a friend who does that will be helped by your question.


May God bless you richly. See you in Heaven.


Love, Roger

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