Last Tuesday, Daniel Korins wrote:
As an autism dad, I’m proud to say that I will be honored on Thursday by MyTime Inc, a wonderful organization that provides respite and other services for autistic children and their families. I would like to share this honor with my wife and all the autism moms and dads who recognize one simple truth: Focus on what your child can do, not what he or she cannot do. But most of all, this honor belongs to my autistic son Michael.
Middle school was an exceptional challenge for my son. He was finding it more and more difficult to focus and had frequent meltdowns. Some of his school aids yelled at him so frequently that he imitated their dialogue and yelled at himself at home. As Michael continued to withdraw, he found comfort in Music. My son’s musical talent had become abundantly evident by age three. He sang beautifully and with perfect pitch. If he closed his eyes when I played a note on the piano, he could always name the note I played.
I decided to use music to reopen the lines of communication with Michael and to encourage him to perform in public. This process was slow and frustrating, but it eventually paid off. Among Michael’s many achievements: He was the only vocalist in his school district to be invited to sing with the New York All-State Mixed Chorus in 2011. This year, Michael was invited to perform at “Autism’s Got Talent’ in London England. He is the only person from the US ever to be invited to perform at this show. Check out the link below to the video from that show (Michael’s sister sings backup).
My journey as an autism parent has taught me that if you focus on your child’s strengths, their self-esteem will soar. Once this happens, they’ll be better prepared to take on whatever challenges they may face. And you never know, they just might accomplish something that you never dreamed was possible.
See Daniel’s son Michael here, performing at Autism’s Got Talent 2016