On the Spectrum

Autism, Faith, and the Gifts of Neurodiversity

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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 59 children is diagnosed with 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 a time of crisis in his personal and professional life. For him, 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.


Prelude: You Always Hurt the Ones You Love

Why You Should Read This Book (and How)
Diversity and Dignity
Speaking the Words
A Portrait of the Autist as a Young Man
The Neurodiversity Paradigm
Place: Comfort Object & Special Interest
Living Maps: Into the Heart of the Heartland
Autistic Culture Making
Riding while Autistic
Community, Worship, and Service
Autism and Church
Shining like the Sun
Service and the Spectrum
Dancing in Fields of Wheat and Tares
Writing, Teaching, and Learning
Autism and Poetry
The Insidious Nature of Bad Christian Stories
Beautiful Loser
Meaning and Estrangement
The Tracks of My Tears
Family and Identity
A True Name
Loving the Expanse
Peace in Terabithia
Spectrum Interviews
New Directions
Falling and Autistic Representation
Therefore Let Us Keep the Feast: On Mentoring
SEND and the Future of Neurodiversity

The Author

  1. Daniel Bowman Jr.
    Andrew Paul Davis

    Daniel Bowman Jr.

    Daniel Bowman Jr. (MFA, Seattle Pacific University) is an author, poet, and associate professor of English at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, where he codirects the Making Literature Conference. He writes and speaks regularly on neurodiversity,...

    Continue reading about Daniel Bowman Jr.