The Tongue Has the Power of Life and Death, Literally

The Tongue Has the Power of Life and Death, Literally September 26, 2022

Neurodiversity and the LBGTQIA+ spectrum, consequences of rejection

♬ original sound – The Neuro-Catholic MamaBear


In my practice of Academic Language Therapy over the last twelve years, God has revealed over and over again how important my words are to my young patients.  From ages three to sixteen, I’m helping their minds grow and learn when disabilities and learning differences have historically hindered them.  Every word I say and every action I perform hopefully leads to a better quality of life and long-term life benefits. The opposite could be true in a negative direction as well.




Over the last 12 years, I’ve earned additional specialties in dyslexia and Autism.  I am almost finished with clinical licensure in neuro-cognition and LBGTQIA+ mental health.

As a practitioner, I define neurodivergent as anyone who falls on a psychological spectrum which diverges from the general population.   For the last 25 years, including the years I was a special educator before graduate school, I also worked with neurodivergent children, from the most severe and profound handicaps to the mildest of learning variations. One thing is true, what I say and how I treat them makes profound impacts on the quality of life and learner outcomes.   For special needs populations, aligning Church and school programming for neurodivergent children must be in alignment with current science because the consequences of long-term damage and even death mostly due to suicide can incur from programming which is not properly aligned.

The same is true with LBGTQIA+ Church ministry and school programming.

Interestingly, in a 2021 study from the University of Cambridge also found that people on the autism spectrum are more likely to identify as LGBTQIA+. And through my work with FreedHearts, a large ecumenical LBGTQIA+ religious trauma recovery group, I lead ministry to Catholic families with LGBTQIA+ members to help them survive rejection and come to accept their LGBTQIA+ children.

There is an overlap between the disability world and the LGBTQIA+ community. The transgender experience, for example, is anywhere from three to nine times more prevalent in families with neurodiverse or Autistic children, such as in my family. According to The Trevor Project, the prevalence of Autism among individuals with gender dysphoria is estimated as somewhere between six and 25 percent.

When we look at the consequences (the “fruit”) of rejecting the neurodiverse and LBGTQ children or not following science in the family, church, and society, we find depression, anxiety, self-hatred, shame, self-harm, substance abuse, separation from family, God, the church, and community, isolation, anger, serious mental illness, long-term phycological damage, long-term spiritual damage, and even suicide.

But when we teach that God, the Church, the family, and the community loves, accepts, and includes neurodiverse and LBGTQIA+ people, and also follows current science, the fruit is health, healing, love, joy, peace, self-acceptance, stable relationships, reconciling with God and the Church, family unity, and wholeness.

Fully accepting and LBGTQIA+ people, especially youth, would be no different than fully including and accepting children with disabilities and/or neurodiversity like Autism. Being LGBTQIA+ is not a disability, but it is part of being on a spectrum intrinsic to being human. Unless you are capable of life-long celibacy for yourself, you are not qualified to expect this from someone else. Someone’s sexuality is between them, God, their loved one/parents, and no one else.

How can we call ourselves the Body of Christ and knowingly destroy a group of marginalized people?  We cannot.  For these marginalized groups will see God as a mean and angry God verses a God of love and acceptance.  As one of my favorite Catholic colleagues named Teresa Rogers says, “Following science is following God because he is the Creator of Science.”

For Jesus said, what you do unto others, you do unto me.  Luke 6:31

The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21




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3 responses to “The Tongue Has the Power of Life and Death, Literally”

  1. Julie,

    You would not encourage aggressive affirmative care that included puberty blockers, hormone therapies, and surgeries, correct? I just want to be clear on that part. Thanks!

  2. Hi Dennis,
    As a licensed practitioner, I support what the worldwide collective of top experts say on any given scientific subject. So with this said, I support puberty blockers ONLY IF NEEDED before the age of 18 because they are not permanent, nor are they as aggressive as you claim. They can actually save LBGTQIA+ youth lives in certain cases. As far as surgeries go, with rare exception, surgeries are not done before the age of 18 but with the exception you gave and a small number of others. Surgeries before the age of 18 are not widely practiced. But regardless, it’s neither my business or is it your business whether or not parents decide to follow their doctors’ orders. From an ethical standpoint as a practitioner, I believe in patient choice as long as the decision is widely accepted and practiced in any particular medical field. It takes years of ethical determination for a collective of experts to formulate a decision in any given field.

  3. Julie,

    What if these experts are wrong? Are these experts infallible? What about this expert?

    Tavistock’s former Clinical Director of Adult and Adolescent Services Marcus Evans sums up the current state of research when he stated to the New York Post:

    “There is no research that justifies our current approaches. We’re in the dark, and we’ve just been putting children on a medical conveyor belt,” he said. “It’s as if the whole Trust has gone off into the area of political activism, and Hilary Cass is pulling it back. It’s absolutely extraordinary.”

    Also, please read this article. It is by a someone who transitioned in youth.

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