A Sensational Feeling

My Joyous Feature

Life can take on that pure sensation. Filling that knowledge to cherish a lot of things in common. Like there’s plenty of space to feel that sensation. There’s things that can exist on the certain facts on sensation. Bringing it into a powerful situation.

There’s that common factor that shall require a sensational moment into other things. Things that shall bring that opportunity. Overcoming so many things that’s related to sensation. More like feeling the greatest moments of all.

In a soothing way writing can form that sensational moment. Heading it up into so many truthful feelings. Some of it can feel a bit more fictional. Writing in a sensational form can be like an sense of promise. Bringing it into a much different form of a true feeling.

A piece of life can be proceeded upon that perfect standard. That standard can tag along with a sensory moment. It…

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DVD Review: Puzzle

Another film with an autistic character.

The Joy of Movies

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Agnes (Kelly Macdonald) is a housewife, who has dedicated herself to looking after her husband Louie (David Denman) and their two sons Ziggy (Bubba Weiler) and Gabe (Austin Abrams), who are now young adults but not quite ready to forge their own paths.

She is bored and wants something more, but seems too nervous and anxious to actually pursue it, instead cocooning herself up in the domestic world she has always known. But when she receives a jigsaw puzzle as a birthday gift, Agnes finds a new passion in the form of puzzling, and discovers a real talent for assembling the pieces in record time.

Agnes takes a rare trip into New York to buy herself another puzzle at a trendy downtown shop, and stumbles across the number for Robert (Irrfan Khan), a wealthy recluse who is looking for a partner to compete…

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The Good Feeling of Reading

My Joyous Feature

There’s that mindful feeling when it comes to reading. Reading can sharpen that precious mind. Feels more like reading can make you desire to understand things more and more. In between that reading mode, there’s that creative movement. That creative movement can put a valuable moment against reading. Reading shall open that creative mind. Bringing it into a point of perspective.

Reading can open up into the world. Letting everything that’s connected to reading shine through. Feels more like an empathetic personality. Bringing every idea and so many things into that wonders of life. Cherishing it through reading. Feels like there’s something a lot more powerful. Powerful enough to bring that pure advantage to read.

A personal development can form a lot of things. Some of them involves reading books that’s related to that personal development. Some of them can be self-help, inspiration, and creativity. Through it all they can…

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Saint Thorlak, Patron Saint of Autism; Missionary Thought for the Week of November 26, 2018: The Pastoral Needs of Autism by Aimee O’Connell

Originally posted here: https://www.mission-of-saint-thorlak.com/mission-activities/missionary-thought-for-the-week-of-november-26-2018-the-pastoral-needs-of-autism

Aimee here!

Over the past few weeks we have talked about different needs brought to our attention by real people across our readership. From the outset, this Mission has existed to bring the voice of Saint Thorlak out from under the snows of time to speak to our century with his distinctly autistic look at faith and pastoral administration. The “faith” end has been covered fairly thoroughly in our discussions of the Way of Saint Thorlak, which has freed us up these past few posts to talk more about administrative aspects of addressing the needs of people seeking spiritual nourishment.

There is a very popular meme which reads “Autism Does Not End At Eighteen.” Likewise, the pastoral needs of autism do not come to a close when a person successfully receives the bulk of their sacraments, be that at Confirmation or Matrimony. In fact, the needs continue week by week as autistic individuals seek to receive the Eucharist and participate in parish life. In this sense, people affected by autism are exactly no different than any other person, typical or otherwise. Every human person seeks to understand God using the faculties they have. Engineers find God in a more formulaic, orderly fashion than artists who find Him in the nonverbal emotional palette. Extroverts find God more readily at coffee hour, and introverts find Him in the silence of the chapel. Autistics… well, I can’t speak for all of us, that’s for sure. I can only speak for myself, and then I can generalize some of my own observations and curate some of the comments I have gleaned from conversations over the years. But absolutes? No such thing. Each person with autism is as uniquely varied as the next.

I boil it down to this: As we relate to others, so we relate to God. By “we,” I mean human beings. Including those with autism.

As we learn how to relate to others… as we learn how others react to us… as we experience others… so we experience God.

I think this about summarizes every pastoral need, and every effective pastoral approach to our needs.

As others are merciful to us (that is, as they are able to welcome us EVEN WHEN we drive them to the limits of their comfort), so we learn how God shows us mercy.

As others take an interest in our thoughts, our lives, our loves, our needs: so we learn how God takes an interest in us.

The patterns we observe in others are those we apply to the universe, and to God.

Thus: As others demand conformity and compliance and perfection, so we assume that God does, too.

As others avoid us, forget to include us, or assume that we don’t want to be invited even if we are going to say “no”… so we assume that God feels that way about us, too.

As we correctly or incorrectly conclude acceptance or rejection from those around us, so too, we conclude God follows suit.

Pastorally, that means: Parish staff members model God to us.

If a parish staff member takes the time to understand our needs, we see how God understands our needs.

If accommodations or modifications are not possible because of space limitations, lack of resources, disruption to the liturgy or invalidation of sacramental norms… and a parish staff member explains that to us in a way that is clear and honest… we see how God is not a mythical genie who grants wishes, but rather, a wise Father whose solutions to our needs often require trust on our part that He desires what is best, even beyond what we thought that was.

What do autistic people need, pastorally speaking?
Very simply:

This week, I uploaded three of my talks relating to this topic. They can be found here. https://www.mission-of-saint-thorlak.com/downloads-and-resources.html

In these talks, I specify the obstacles that are most likely to exist between autism and fully experiencing our faith. Next, I propose that “social skills” are the foundation for the next level in our developmental hierarchy: spiritual skills. Lest it seem like a daunting task to have to create such a program, never mind train people and implement it, I dare say it already exists in our pastors and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Everything we need is already there, if someone will take the time and walk us through with caritas, voluntary humility, wonder and demonstration by example. St. Thorlak pioneered this method eight hundred years ago. His administrative genius has been recognized in the Canon of Catholic Saints; shall we now avail ourselves of his formula?

I have begun speaking. I do not intend to stop any time soon. How very autistic of me.

If you would like to hear more, please, contact me with the needs you have. It is my Mission.


Pray: Heavenly Father, show us the needs we have, and lead us to ways to address them, together.

Contemplate: Is there a distinct “autistic spirituality” in the same way we hear there are autistic approaches to other fields, such as industry, service, design and implementation?

Relate: As others experience us, they experience God. Be aware of this as we go about our week.

Amanda Lamunyon: an artistic prodigy’s insights on life, art and faith by Ron Sandison

Originally posted here:


“It’s relaxing for me to paint and is a way to express myself when I can’t find the right words,” Amanda LaMunyon

1. What has been your greatest challenges having autism?

The biggest challenge I have had is overcoming the way others view me because I have autism. However, I have learned that I am just the way God intended me to be. I am perfectly imperfect. The Bible says, “God knew me before I was in the womb and that I am perfectly and wonderfully made.” I have to remind myself of this fact from time to time. There have been many challenges with dealing with the world around me and I have learned to handle them.

When I was very young I used to throw myself on the floor and scream and no one could figure out what I was screaming about it was almost always in a public place. When I was older and could explain I told them that I was afraid of heights.

That made no sense because it was never when we were up high. I finally could explain that it wasn’t looking down that was bothering me. It was looking up. When I looked up I felt like I was falling up. The doctor said it was because I would lose my balance. So after that discovery my parents gave me big hats and sunglasses to wear when we were in that kind of situation. I’m doing much better with that now.

I still get nervous and feel out of place in some social situations especially when with people I am not familiar with. Big groups seem to be the hardest. The older I get I try to find ways to cope with different situations. I sometimes struggle with being independent or I should say wanting to be independent.


2. What were some difficulties you experienced in school?

Focusing was an issue for me. My mind would be going a mile a minute so it tended to be difficult focusing on one thing unless I was very interested in it. At school I kind of felt out of place. Socially I always felt like I was a stranger.


3. How did you become interested in art? At what age?

As long as I can remember I have been interested in art. I loved to draw. I really enjoyed making things from paper and tape. I could make just about anything. I officially began to paint when I was seven and my mother found an art teacher for me.


4. How has art helped you to develop social skills?

It is most time relaxing for me to paint and it is a way to express myself when I can’t find the words. Before anyone knew I had the gift of painting, I was always getting in trouble at school and I think people viewed me in that way. But, when I started painting I became known more as the girl who could paint. This helped give me confidence in who I was.


5. How has your faith in Christ impacted your life?

I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was very young. I know God gave me gifts for a reason and I want to use my life and my gift to encourage others that God gives everyone a gift. The biggest gift anyone can have is the gift of God’s Son, Jesus. I haven’t always understood what this really means. But I am beginning to understand that it isn’t what I do or don’t do that makes me a Christian. It is what God has already done.


6. What are some challenges you experienced with faith and belief in God?

In today’s society and culture, it can be challenging to believe God is in control. Sometimes I question why certain things happen the way they do and why I do some things I have done. Faith is believing something you cannot see and yet still believe. But even in these times God is growing my faith.


7. What do you like best about the concept of faith?

The fact that no one is perfect and yet God loves us anyway is a wonderful thing. He says that in our weaknesses we will know Him and His strength. In this way I am learning.


8. What advice would you give to young adults who have autism?

I would advise others with or without autism not to ever give up. Be patient and try to listen to those who love you and want to help you. Believe God made you just the way you are and He loves you.

9. What has God been teaching you in life?

Patience! Being an adult is challenging.


10. What is your goals in life and your dream job?

I will always enjoy art so I want to use art in some way. I also love children. I am learning that God has given me other abilities too and I want to be versatile. I want to always be an advocate for the awareness of autism and the abilities people have with autism.


11. What do you wish people would understand about autism?

I would like people to know that we are just like them in so many ways. We have hopes and dreams. We may seem different but we truly are not less.


12. What was the best part of being on the Today show with Megyn Kelly Show?

I was extremely surprised and honored to know that I was invited to be on the Today Show with Megyn Kelly. There are many artists with autism who are so talented and I was very humbled. The experience was uplifting for me.


Amanda’s Bio

Amanda Grace LaMunyon is an artist diagnosed with Asperger’s and has savant ability in painting and drawing from Enid, Oklahoma. She sells her artwork with a portion of the proceeds going to raise money for improving the lives of children with autism. Amanda’s art has been displayed in galleries like the Salmagundi Club and Carnegie Hall in New York City and she was a featured story on the Today Show with Megyn Kelly. She has received a number of state and national awards for community service in fundraising efforts for autism research and children’s health. Amanda’s website is https://amandalamunyon.com


Ron Sandison works full time in the medical field and is a professor of theology at Destiny School of Ministry. He is an advisory board member of Autism Society Faith Initiative of Autism Society of American. Sandison has a Master of Divinity from Oral Roberts University and is the author of A Parent’s Guide to Autism: Practical Advice. Biblical Wisdom published by Charisma House. He has memorized over 10,000 Scriptures including 22 complete books of the New Testament and over 5,000 quotes.

He frequently guest speaks at colleges, conferences, autism centers, and churches. Ron and his wife, Kristen, reside in Rochester Hills, MI, with a baby daughter, Makayla Marie born on March 20, 2016. You can contact Ron at his website www.spectruminclusion.com or email him at sandison456@hotmail.com

A Common Thing On Memoir

My Joyous Feature

Inside a memoir, there’s a story. A story that can feel like there’s some true moments. Letting that uplifting spirit rising through. It can channel that inspiration at its brightest moment. There can be a moment when a memoir can be tempted by so many people.

Reading a memoir can bring out so many things. Things that can be very inspiring to others. It’s like somebody is reading a narrative story. That narrative story can bring out some personality out there. There’s that unique form of a narrative story that can carry along. Much like a true heart of soul. Letting that wholeness rises up into a gleeful moment.

Writing a memoir for some people can carry an impact on a very special moment. A moment that will carry on that true meaning of life. It’s more like giving orders to yourself. Feeling like a whirl of creativity going around…

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Let’s talk about sex…and disability 

An excellent, heartfelt, and thought provoking essay.


I had the great pleasure of being part of a panel at the Women with Disabilities ACT Annual general meeting last Wednesday. The topic was safe relationships and disability. There was a film called Mirrorball shown which was made a few years ago and looked at attitudes around dating, sex and relationships for people with (mostly intellectual)  disability. The film involved interviewing people with disability and their parents. The thing which struck me was the high level of assumptions of incompetence and deficits-thinking from many of the parents. They almost universally  saw relationships and dating for their kids as a negative and something to be concerned about. The panel included myself, an autistic asexual non-binary person, Katie, a heterosexual cis gendered young woman with down syndrome, Sue, the Chair of Women with Disabilities ACT and a doctor from the Sexual Health and Family Panning Clinic. It was a…

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Life is a Common to a Miracle

My Joyous Feature

Through that common feeling there’s something that can be more like looking for a true miracle. A miracle of life can comprehend on so many things. Something can be related to that mutual feeling. It may be more like a blossoming flower. That blooming moment of a flower can take it throughout that common spirit of life. Taking it at that brightest moment in advance.

A nature of life can feel more like a common miracle. Sort of like the changes in every step. Applying it on that joy of life. Life can take on a working miracle. Letting it shine into peace. That peaceful state shall lay on that nature of life at its very best.

Moments in a common life shall overcome something in a pleasant manner. More than just a pure miracle to bring it into that joyful life. Rising into that glowing feeling. Making it unbelievable…

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