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Autism & Spirituality

Some people (including many professionals) deny even the possibility of spiritual or religious awareness in people with autism. they doubt that so-called low-functioning (LF) autistic individuals (esp. those whom Lorna Wing calls ‘aloof’ and ‘passive’ – living in their own world, unwilling or unable to start and maintain interaction with others) can be spiritual, because they do not seem to be aware of anything going on around them Then, those who are high-functioning (HF) seem to be too rigid and too literal to understand such abstract concepts as ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’.

One of their arguments is that people with autism (esp. at the LF end of the spectrum) lack relationality and connectedness with others because they are seen as ‘not wanting’ (or ‘unable’) to relate and to communicate to others. However, it is a common mistake to interpret what we ‘see’ as what they feel or experience. In this particular case, the contrary seems to be true. 


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“The gift of this book is to provide a filter that helps a reader like me sort through the overwhelming diversity of theories, studies and personal understandings of autism, spirituality and the self in ways that help people build connections between them and then come away with deeper understanding of them all.”

Bill Gaventa, M.Div, Associate Professor, and Pediatrics, and Coordinator, Spiritual and Congregational Supports
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"Sometimes autistic children learn not because we teach them but despite it"

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