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I love to read! Love it, love it, love it! In fact, it's always been a bucket list item to read 100 books in one calendar year! And...well...since I'm in this season of solitude I decided this would be my year! I started my 100 books in a year journey in October of this year and I'm about 13 books in! If you want to follow along with my book lists you can follow my other Instagram account at booksnfires. I'm documenting all my reading there! I had every intention of keeping the two accounts separate from each other...this one for faith; that one for reading. However, I do read faith-based books and thought...when I come across a great one I must share with this community! So here we go!
This book On the Spectrum: Autism, Faith and the Gifts of Neurodiversity by Daniel Bowman Jr. was an absolute delight to read! Daniel explains the gifts of neurodiversity so well, and especially how it relates to our faith, throughout this book! I really felt like this book had something for everyone in it! The truth is, 1 out of every 54 people across all cultures, religions, and socioeconomic background has Autism. So it is no secret that someone we know has it. I'm going to break my review down into a few sections because it covers so much amazing information!
For Autistic's by Autistic's
First, Daniel explains how he was diagnosed later in life, at age 35. That with this diagnosis came a deeper understanding of his true self, the being he was created to be. That he was able to finally have answers to things he questioned his whole life. He is an accomplished professor, writer, husband, father, and man of faith. He explains in detail how stereotypes are not only harmful to the neurodivergent community, but also to our church's health. He explains that Neurodiversity is not a curse (although it has it's challenges). We are all amazingly talented in our gifts, should we pursue them.
Faith and Inclusion
I cannot say enough positive things about this book. On the Spectrum uses scripture throughout to help us understand the full picture of being inclusive in our faith.
It focuses on inclusion instead of isolation. We are all unique and God gave each of us an amazingly unique set of skills and gifts to use. This book highlights finding those gifts in a true, honest, and open way. In finding your authentic self, and becoming exactly who God created you to be. It really warmed my heart and soul to think of how we fit like a puzzle in our servitude. Each one, with their own uniqueness, all fitting together to serve God. All the pieces have to be there to complete it, and yet no two are the same. Same with God's creations.
I love how it also included how important self-love and understanding your own needs are. He writes about how perhaps church services or community lunches can be overstimulating to us/others and that is okay. Maybe our walk with God shows up in a more intimate ways. Maybe it's having coffee with a friend and sharing God, or serving in the nursery.
This book will challenge your faith. It will give you hope. It will deepen your desire to connect with God and your community. It will challenge you to look inside yourself and grow. It is a beautiful compilation of God's love, our love for one another and our faith.
You can purchase the book here: https://bookshop.org/a/61905/9781587435065
It's a great read for:
Anyone who is autistic
Anyone who knows someone who is autistic
Anyone who serves or leads in their community
Anyone who serves or leads in a church
Anyone who wants to challenge growth within
Anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of neurodivergent individuals
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. May we love each other as Christ loves us!