by Carla Hinton
Published 12:00 a.m. CT January 2, 2010 | THE OKLAHOMAN
Original article can be found at THE OKLAHOMAN
“My child is living proof that there are some things far bigger than we can explain that require a God far greater than we’ve ever been told about.”
— Karen Mayer Cunningham, in “Defying Autism”
Karen Mayer Cunningham, of Katy, Texas, is a Christian comedian who has her share of funny stories to tell.
She said her ability to spread laughter has helped her share a serious message of faith that is close to her heart.
Cunningham shares her message in a book, “Defying Autism: A Miraculous Story of Hope” (Strang Communications, $14.99). In the book, she tells the story of her young son, James, who was diagnosed with autism. She chronicles her journey to get help for James and her belief that the Lord cured him of the developmental disorder.
In an interview, Cunningham, 44, answered questions about “Defying Autism” and her faith.
Q: Why did you write “Defying Autism”?
A: I never wanted to forget how bad it really was. I knew that I had to pass this story on, that this was something that I wanted to share. It gives people hope. In the early 1990s, nobody had overcome it (autism).
Q: What kind of response has the book received?
A: The book definitely provokes a response from people. It’s one of those books that makes you make a choice. God is the God who heals all of my iniquities. It’s to remind people that we are supposed to go to our Creator first for help. If I saw someone has cancer, it would be nothing to pray about it. It is natural. I feel that this is one of the most natural things I have prayed. One day we may start hearing people say, “I got healed from autism.”
Q: How did people respond to your decision to seek healing ministry for your’s son’s autism?
A: I didn’t get a good response from family and friends. I was in crisis; after 4½ years of going through this, all of the friends I had had, all of the alleged family were gone. When you are in a war zone, people don’t know what to do, so they do nothing. No one, including myself, thought this would work out. I didn’t think it was going to work.
Q: Why was there a lack of faith on your part and others? Why do people often doubt healing ministry?
A: I think because we know very few people who have real spiritual fruit in their lives. We have very few people who have evidence of God working in their lives — people who have petitioned God for a job, recovery from an illness, and He answered them. As more and more of us do that and talk about it, we become pinpoints of light, light in the darkness. The more that we honor God for what He does in our lives, the more blessings we will have, so I knew I could never water down this testimony. I asked Him for a miracle to save my child’s life, and He did.
Q: How is James doing?
A: He’s doing good. He is 15 years old, and he’s a freshman in high school. He’s on the football team and the wrestling team. He is loving and sweet, the child God purposed for my life. God is restoring all that lost time. Every day for me is Christmas morning. It’s overwhelming that He would give me this blessing.
Q: I know that you share your testimony at churches and other faith gatherings. What is the essence of your message?
A: I tell them we need to do three things. We have to believe — to open up our brains and believe. It took (the Israelites) 40 years to get to the Promised Land, but only two of them go in because of unbelief. No. 2, we need to stand. What does stand mean? It means to stand. When the Bible says that you are to stand against the enemy’s schemes, it means it. No. 3, we need to receive. I can’t be all hunched over with my arms down and expect to receive anything from God. I have to be in a position to receive a miracle from God.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your book?
A: When He takes you through a valley, He gives you a larger ability to have compassion for people. My heart is not to change people’s minds. My heart is to share this story. Some plant. Some water. God gives the increase.
Karen Mayer Cunningham, also known as The Special Education Boss™ has been advocating on behalf of children for 25+ years. Her unlikely journey as an advocate began in an effort to get needed services for her own son, but along the way, found a calling to share the resources she had discovered. Karen is relentless in getting the services and resources for children so that they can succeed. It’s only about successful student outcomes. In addition to advocating for children, Karen is a professional stand-up comedian, a Keynote speaker, sits on several boards, is a highly south after parent/educator trainer, and is an influencer on several social media platforms with over 3 million views and hundreds of thousand followers. On social media, Karen educates, empowers, and provides a bit of entertainment for everyone that sits at the 504/IEP table. Karen serves on the Texas A&M University Center for Disabilities and Development, CAC Board and represents parents as a non-attorney advocate in due process hearings and dispute resolution settlements (United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights and Texas Education Agency)
Remember, “When we get it right for the child, we get it right for everyone.” ~ Karen Mayer Cunningham