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William Stillman has been dubbed "The Autism Whisperer," by talk show host Frankie Picasso, for his innate ability to understand and interpret children and adults on the autism spectrum. Lisa Jo Rudy, About.com's autism moderator, has said, "William Stillman is one of the few who can translate the workings of the autistic mind to the neuro-typical community." And Kelly Jad'on, of Internet news outlet BasilandSpice.com, stated, "William Stillman dares to go where few have gone before; without a doubt, he is the forerunner of the beginning of a movement which will alter the development and future of mankind."
Stillman is an award-winning author known internationally for his ground breaking work, Autism and the God Connection: Redefining the Autistic Experience Through Extraordinary Accounts of Spiritual Giftedness (2006), which peaked at #22 on Amazon.com. His first book on the subject of autism, Demystifying the Autistic Experience: A Humanistic Introduction for Parents, Caregivers and Educators (2002), has been highly praised by the autism and self-advocacy communities. Stillman's other books include Empowered Autism Parenting: Celebrating (and Defending) Your Child's Place in the World (2009), a 2011 Indie Book Awards Finalist; The Autism Answer Book (2007); The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Asperger's Syndrome: Help, Hope and Guidance (2005) [a condensed version of which was published in 2008 as When Your Child has Asperger's Syndrome; second revised edition published 2010]; The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Bipolar Disorder: Professional, Reassuring Advice to Help You Understand and Cope (2005); and The Soul of Autism (2008) and The Autism Prophecies (2010), sequels to Autism and the God Connection. To date, Stillman's writings have been translated in four languages. (Stillman is also coauthor of several successful books about his life-long passion, The Wizard of Oz.)
Translations of Bill's books in Romanian, German, Russian, and Greek.
Stillman has also written for The Autism Perspective and Autism Voices and Choices magazines. In 2008, Stillman was one of fifteen authors selected to contribute to Autism Today's Autism-at-Home Series, a monthly publication designed to provide premier advice and recommendations to parents and professionals. The dance company, dre.dance, cited Stillman's autism writings as an inspiration for its 2009 choreography performance, beyond.words, which had its New York premiere at Tribeca Performing Arts Center. And on April 27, 2010, Stillman's Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Asperger's Syndrome was prominently featured in the closing scene of the "Perchance to Dream" episode of NBC-TV's hit series Parenthood.
Bill's Asperger's guide on "Parenthood"
In 2011, William Stillman was invited to join the authorities contributing to Sharecare.com, an online health and wellness platform created by Dr. Oz, HARPO Studios (Oprah), and Discovery Communications. Sharecare functions as a question-and-answer forum by which individuals searching for qualitative health-related information can receive multiple perspectives from "trusted experts." (For further information, visit www.sharecare.com/user/william-stillman)
Autism and the God Connection, Stillman's study of profound spiritual, mystical and metaphysical giftedness of some individuals with autism, has resonated with parents, professionals, and persons with autism internationally, and has received endorsements of praise from bestselling authors Gary Zukav, Carol Bowman, Dean Hamer, and Larry Dossey. On March 30, 2011, the book was featured on the FOX News Glenn Beck program in conjunction with a segment about one young man's gifts and talents. Autism and the God Connection was a finalist for the 2007 Publishers Marketing Association Benjamin Franklin Award for excellence. In 2008, Stillman's The Soul of Autism was an award-winning finalist for USA Book News' National Best Books Awards and was judged a Silver Award Winner for Nautilus Book Awards. Inspired by Autism and the God Connection, he hosted a monthly question-and-answer column for Children of the New Earth online magazine, and the film rights to his books have been optioned for a proposed documentary.
Stillman's spiritual work also led to his solicitation to compose a week of daily reflections for the 2009 edition of Disciplines: A Book of Daily Devotions, published by Upper Room Books, and a training module on religious service inclusion for persons with autism for The Thoughtful Christian, an Internet training and resource organization. The Soul of Autism: Looking Beyond Labels to Unveil Spiritual Secrets of the Heart Savants published in 2008, and, in promotion of this sequel to Autism and the God Connection, Stillman was interviewed on CBS Sunday Morning News. The third book in the trilogy, The Autism Prophecies, published in 2010. Stillman's spiritual trilogy has been translated by German publisher Amra Verlag.
Glenn Beck endorses Bill's book
As an adult with Asperger's Syndrome, a mild "cousin" of autism, Stillman's message of reverence and respect has touched thousands nationally through his acclaimed autism workshops and private consultations. In addition to his frequent work in California, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, William Stillman has presented at national conferences such as ASA, TASH and NATTAP, as well as conferences throughout Pennsylvania. Other presentation forums have included universities, hospitals, state centers, and schools.
Stillman has a B.S. in Education from Millersville University in Pennsylvania, and has worked to support people with different ways of being since 1987. He was formerly the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Office of Developmental Program's statewide point person for children with intellectual impairment, mental health issues, and autism.
Stillman is founder of the Pennsylvania Autism Self Advocacy Coalition (PASAC) which endeavored to educate and advise state and local government, law enforcement, educators and the medical community about the autism spectrum from the "inside out." He served on Pennsylvania' s Autism Task Force, and has served on the advisory boards for Autism Living and Working, The Asperger's Syndrome Alliance of Pennsylvania, and the Youth Advocate Programs' National Autism Committee. In 2007, he was appointed to the advisory board of AUTCOM, the Autism National Committee. He is formerly the coordinator for a Pennsylvania-based meeting group of individuals who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Stillman has also been a consultant to Temple University for the development of Youth Advocate Programs' Therapeutic Staff Support curriculum, which aspired to set the standard by which mental health workers in Pennsylvania are trained to support children and adolescents with autism and mental health issues.
In his work to support those who love and care for individuals with autism and Asperger's Syndrome, William Stillman sets a tone for our collective understanding of the autistic experience in ways that are unprecedented. Autism should not be defined as an "affliction endured by sufferers," but as a truly unique and individual experience to be respected and appreciated by all. In so doing, Stillman highlights the exquisite sensitivities of our most valuable, wise and loving "teachers."