“Authentic John” Smyth, an autistic nonverbal, is an expert in isolation and escape from isolation to a life of contribution. In his soon-to-be-released first published book, “From Autism’s Tomb,” John reveals life secrets from from the profound Silence that holds us all. These secrets shape every person’s reality and potential. Yet most of humanity is unaware of them because of the depths of isolation required for discovery.
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Author John Smyth, age 21, was regarded as mentally incompetent and without potential for contribution to society less than 5 years ago. Yet he taught himself to read at age 3, perceived all of life around him with extraordinary sensory acuity, and, after 16 ½ years of isolation, entered the world of communication. In this book, John shares how embracing these discoveries has enabled him to grow from the depths of despair and resignation to a life of gratitude and accomplishment.
Intimately familiar with the challenges of autistics who cannot speak and the depths of their self-esteem issues. John’s words guide with insights that can facilitate and speed nonverbals’ journeys to healing and effectiveness. To John, the nonverbal have advantages over the normals who live in a world of shallow chatter. He encourages nonverbals to claim their uniquely special place given by their gifts, passion, and the depth of their relationship with the Silence.
As I read …, I felt goose bumps develop all over my body. I was incredibly moved, touched and inspired at the same time.
Much of my life has been involved with teaching and motivating people to become stronger physically but more important, mentally. As a SEAL we call this “strengthening our Combat Mindset”. As a motivator, I call this “Reaching Beyond Boundaries”.
John understands these concepts better than I do. He does not allow his autism to define who he is. He does not allow this obstacle from holding him back. John took control of his life and reached well beyond the boundaries others placed on him.
I can promise you this, if you read John’s (book), you will not only develop a real fascination and admiration for this young man, but you will become a stronger person through John’s powerful words. I do hope you share this with your Family and Friends.”
Don Mann, 3-time NY Times bestselling author, extreme athlete, motivational speaker, and former member of the US Navy’s SEAL Team 6
Read an Excerpt: “From Autism’s Tomb”
Chapter 1: Where I’m From
Dear brother or sister in the nonverbal world,
Yesterday was yesterday. Quietly, today walks in the pristine presence of silence lost always to our ability to fathom. Tearfully have you known this desolate place as cold isolation. Only going away pretending walking is waste and queerly that you don’t count takes the pain away. What would be the point of caring? You can’t do anything to be known anyway.
Now inside of this reality you know comes this book. Reasonably who can know what you have experienced? Who can know all of the abandonment by teachers and aides? Who appreciates the depth of hurt as so many ways to test quiet understanding are assumed accurate from what your quite broken, misbehaving body won’t do? Who understands your depth waiting to be known but numb from the years of cold isolation and wickedly searing pain of not even being able to convince your parents of your competence when so many experts deny your competent awareness. They say you have the mind of a two or three year old. Really, what could a little book which distantly connects us essentially contribute to your life trajectory?
Hearing your pain and feeling your loneliness touches me deeply. In one way, it loads my own suffering onto my shoulders as I recall what was awfully my experience wasting for 16 years with toadies of the realms of normal ignorance and sharing your rightfully jaded state within a warehouse system that has no clue. I am humbled that you even hear my words within the circumstances you struggle to loathfully manage. Whoever is reading this to you cannot witness to what you embrace everyday as you quietly ignore your feelings, since kindness seems without any grace, faith, hope or warmth of love. I have been there. Was witness to a different way even possible? I could not see it.
Listen to my poem, “The Ember,” to hear if we are related in shared experience. And if we are, then listen to or read the rest of my book. Thank you for the privilege of your attention. When I was where you are now, there was no hope for me. It’s now 4 years and 6 months since that time.