On the Spectrum: Autism, Faith, and the Gifts of Neurodiversity

by Daniel Bowman Jr. – Brazos Press

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Nearly everyone knows someone on the autism spectrum, whether it’s a niece or nephew, a student in their classroom, a coworker, or a sibling, spouse, or child. One in 54 children has autism, according to the CDC, and autism is reported across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Yet most of what people think they know about autism is wrong.

On the Spectrum debunks myths with a realistic yet hope-filled deep dive into the heart, mind, and life of a Christian. Daniel Bowman, a novelist, poet, and professor, received an autism diagnosis at age thirty-five after experiencing crises in his personal and professional life. The diagnosis shed light on his experience in a new, life-giving way. In this captivating book, Bowman reveals new insights into autism, relationships, faith, and the gift of neurodiversity.

Rather than viewing autism as a deficiency, Bowman teaches readers–through stories of his heartbreaks and triumphs–authentic ways to love their neighbors as themselves, including their autistic neighbors who are fearfully and wonderfully, if differently, made.

On the Spectrum rings with poetry, compassion, and wisdom, and it reveals so much about autistic experience. I felt nourished by the truths that Bowman tells and relieved to see them shared. This book may surprise you, and it will certainly inform you.”
Katherine May, author of Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

“What a gift! I am so grateful to Bowman for searingly and beautifully sharing his own fearfully-and-wonderfully-made story and inviting all of us to a more full, more diverse, more compelling vision of the kingdom of God.”
Sarah Bessey, editor of A Rhythm of Prayer; author of Jesus Feminist

“Bowman’s memoir is a wise pathway to loving our neighbors in a neurodivergent world, one where ‘those of us on the spectrum will always deal with loneliness and alienation.’ Bowman reminds us of the role of poetry and faith in guiding us toward God and ultimately in honoring the dignity of our shared humanity.”
Karen An-hwei Lee, author of The Maze of Transparencies and Phyla of Joy

“This is an illuminating, challenging, and deeply human book that we all need to read in order to truly embody solidarity. We need to read stories of neurodiversity from those who embody those stories best, and Bowman’s book is a great place to start the journey.”
Kaitlin B. Curtice, author of Native