- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks; 1 edition (April 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402206496
- ISBN-13: 978-1402206498
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Autism and the God Connection: Redefining the Autistic Experience Through Extraordinary Accounts of Spiritual Giftedness Paperback – April 1, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Stillman's latest volume about autism hovers startlingly close to the edge of reason (or, arguably, abandons reason entirely) and invokes a cosmic cornucopia of ghosts, spirits, angels, miracles and past lives to make the case that "the seemingly sudden and mysterious surge of children identified with autism ...is our Creator's purposeful plan to refocus us on the importance of reverence for all of humanity." Tales of telepathy, direct communication with animals, spirit interaction, mind reading and previous lives abound. This barrage of hokum distracts from the touching stories of connecting with autistic people, and though he writes gently, Stillman, who has Asperger's Syndrome, mixes unsettling and unbelievable stories with summaries of scientific research and clinical studies. Some open-minded readers may value the idiosyncratic point of view, but claims like, "His grandmother's deteriorated physical state, while in the final stages of Alzheimer's here on earth, was of no consequence when it came to contacting Justin" and, "It certainly makes good sense that telepathy is one such mode of communication available to autistic people" strain the author's credibility.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In certain cultures, people with illnesses affecting the ability to communicate are thought to be visited by spirits. The sufferer may be regarded as a messenger for a deity, an anointed one to be revered and honored. Sadly, Western culture often relegates those diagnosed with autism and related disorders to the ranks of the incurably crippled. Worse, almost everyone, from family members to friends to primary caregivers, too easily writes off the intelligence of a person who has difficulty speaking. So written off, the sufferer is discounted and ignored. Stillman, who has Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, speaks out on behalf of the wisdom of considering people with autism as not just intelligent but also highly spiritual. Drawing on testimony from dozens of parents, teachers, and autistic individuals, he builds a solid case in favor of not just his mantra--"always presume intelligence"--but also of thinking that God's most challenged people possess a deep, abiding spirituality. Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
1. i love that he clearly states several times "always assume intellect." about people with autism because i like to believe most people with disabilities, even the really severe and dependent, are a completely normal intellectual person, whole soul on the inside of their broken body. it's just that they either don't communicate well, or not at all so those around them, family, teachers, caretakers, may never know this. but maybe since William Stillman wrote this book who knows how many people have been more than helped with knowing their autistic person. if you have someone in your family, your spouse, neighborhood, school, at work, church etc. etc. (or you have it) and you have an open mind to spiritual possibilities, this book will rock your world.
2. there's personal accounts of those he met, parents, kids and grown adults affected with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their personal stories.
3. I find anyway, in my opinion, their lives and experiences to be a true inspiration that the mainstream public has to know exists. it's tragic how underestimated they are because of their symptoms and reading this gave me hope people like William are shining some light to help tell so many people's truths. i mean some things people shared with their Facilitated Communication (typing) device that happened and/or continue to happen are what most of us would call miracles. it made family openly weep from joy and shock in front of "Bill." who they probably spent only a few minutes with at the time. it boggles my mind that none of their experiences are news to tell those affected that your child being diagnosed with any Autism Spectrum Disorder isn't only horribly tragic your life is over kind of speech. that's the attitude i hear too often. but that good things, rather amazing things can also happen.
4. my favorite part is that what i read from the, how William puts it, "exquisitely sensitive" with autism made me realize life itself, everything we experience, every living creature is a gift and a miracle. all we have to do is open our eyes and actually look and listen to our life and all that is around us. heck, all of it, every chapter was my favorite part. i really hope you enjoy it. it helped me and opened my eyes and heart so much spiritually.
- Noah, age 26, from Michigan.