At the age of 54, Paul McAuliffe was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (mild autism), and since that discovery some five years ago, the musician has turned his own self-discovery journey into a unique program that intertwines soothing flute music with discussions about living on the autism spectrum in what he calls a neurotypical world.
He’s bringing that presentation to Sampson County Sunday, Jan. 6, when he will be guest of Red Hill Universalist Church during the 11 a.m. service.
In this unique program, McAuliffe will discuss his own journey, play quiet, soothing music on a variety of world/ethnic flutes and explain his own belief that Asperger’s Syndrome children will be the world’s future inventors and innovators.
As a complement to his presentation on Sunday, the church will sponsor his appearance the following day at Union Intermediate School, where he will present his “Flutes of the World” to students. His goal is to promote multicultural diversity and understanding, convincing people that there is much more to music than what is normally presented by commercial media outlets.
McAuliffe is a longstanding member of the UU Fellowship of Bay County, Florida, and served two years on their board of trustees. He’s a world/ethnic flute player, flute maker, drummer, songwriter, social services worker, autism advocate and short story writer, and has given dozens of presentations at UU Fellowships in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.
He recently gave his “Flutes & Autism” program at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.
It is that program — “Flutes, Autism & A Different Way of Seeing,” at Red Hill Sunday.
The multi-talented McAuliffe plays djembe (West African hand drum) with the Mother Earth Drummers. He’s the founder and facilitators of the Bay County Aspergers’s Support Group and serves on the Constituency Board of the Florida State University Center for Autism.
According to information provided by Red Hill, McAuliffe also loves to serenade the Florida Panthers, an endangered species, at Bear Creek Feline Center, a sanctuary for big cats that cannot live in the wild.
The Red Hill program is open to the public and is free of charge. The church is located at 7031 Taylor’s Bridge Hwy. (U.S. 421 south), Clinton. For more information on the program, call 910-592-4828.