Autism and Asperger Articles, Bill Stillman, Award-Winning Author

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Demystifying Autism From The Inside Out

Leap of Faith: Lessons from Autism and the God Connection

By William Stillman

The world needs autism. Now more than ever. Of this, I am convinced. Don’t believe me? Look around..look closely and carefully. Look at the calls to action for reverence we’ve recently received in the forms of grand-scale, devastating natural disasters and terrorist attacks. Look at our popular culture—and the relaxing of ethical conduct, so much so that films and television programming have desensitized us to sex and violence to the point of there being no further room in which to push the proverbial envelope. (Movies like Saw II and Hostel in particular have emphasized human beings delighting in torturing other human beings in no-holds-barred, graphic depictions.) Look at the behavior that we have come to condone as acceptable due to wardrobe “malfunctions” or acts of manipulation and deception for the sake of competing in a reality show. Do you think people don’t emulate what they see? A recent Associated Press article speculates there’s an astounding drop in social etiquette—rudeness is on the rise. Self-absorbed and selfish behavior without consideration of others has become the norm, it would seem. We have become a society bent on gratifying our own needs at all costs because “it’s all about me.” We so dearly need people with autism to refocus us on what’s really important.

My new book, Autism and the God Connection, explores these concepts and others in rethinking autism and its purpose from a divine perspective. We need to see the big picture and acknowledge that people with autism have a place in lending balance to it. I suspect that most people with intimate, day-to-day working knowledge of autism understand my contention.

There are many autistic individuals who are silently awaiting the opportunity to share their gifts with us. What kind of gifts? The same gifts and talents we all possess but at higher degrees of vibration, particularly in relation to our senses. Isn’t that one way to define us all—human beings functioning at different levels of vibration? Consider that we may have not yet tapped unspoken wisdoms and truths unknown—not only from within ourselves but from the inner sanctuary that is the person with autism who lives in silence. And when you live in silence, you spend your time listening and very carefully observing—virtually a perpetual state of meditation. It is not unusual for people with autism to share their gifts in ways that some would define as spiritual and others would chalk up to mere coincidence. Well, coincidence may be so in some instances but, ultimately, who do you think invented the very concept of coincidence?

I have yet to meet a person with autism who has not in some capacity indicated their desire to give back of themselves, to share their gifts, and to teach others. In their gentle way—true to their nature—people with autism compel us to higher standards of reverence and respect for humanity. Being present with the autistic individual requires us to be calm and refrain, to be silent and truly listen. And what do you suppose people with autism have indicated they’re here to teach? Why, the most salient themes of the human experience: tolerance, patience, sensitivity, compassion, and, of course, unconditional love. These themes consistently emerge in my work as a consultant no matter where I go.

We need people with autism in the numbers with which they’ve increased, especially if we’re to band together to create a renaissance for what is right and true and good and kind. It is coming. And the next major civil rights movement designed to shatter myths and tear down walls of hate will be lead by those meek of voice but strong of will.

© 2006, William Stillman

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