So, I watched America’s Got Talent #AGT last night with my kids and witnessed a spectacular triumph with Kodi Lee emerging as the Champion.
My kids, 15+, 13+ and 8 at first were not as thrilled as they were rooting for Detroit Youth Choir, since we are now Michiganders, #PureMichigan! so I got my thinking cap on and did my best ‘Yinka-take’ on the issue.
Kodi is blind and has Autism Spectrum Disorder. When it was discovered that he loved music at an early stage, that became the one positive coping strategy He maintained against living in this world where a child is ‘boxed-in‘ because of their ‘disability“.
But He was still able to steal the hearts of viewers and voters alike with his silky voice and renditions of classic ballads.
According to his mother, “We found out that he loved music really early on. He listened and his eyes just went huge, and he started singing, that’s when I was in tears. I realized he’s an entertainer. Through music and performing, he was able to withstand living in this world because when you have autism, it’s really hard to do what everybody else does. It actually has saved his life playing music.”
Ordinarily, He is like a little kid and his affect is typical of someone on the spectrum; but when he gets behind the keys and opens his mouth; It’s like, you have been blessed with the presence of an angel.
There is no doubt in my mind that this young man is not just “special” (as the generality of people want to label him) but divinely gifted.
It is also evident in the support of his family and his interaction with his Mom, siblings and Dad. It is obvious that they have spent countless hours working on his “strengths” and his love for music, giving him the courage to go out there and not just thrive but also shine brighter than anyone else.
Each and every child with special needs or not, has been endowed and divinely blessed with unique gifts! ‘and that’s what makes us all SPECIAL.
The high point of the night for me was after he had been announced as the winner and was trying to celebrate and his mother took his stick from him so he can have a happy “tantrum” jumping as high as he dared and clapping with a huge smile on his face.
I challenge parents today to observe closely and find that spark that lights up their child’s imagination and brings them joy of accomplishment, believe me it might be the most mundane task, but when you find it, celebrate it with them every time they work hard or feel faint about it and enjoy watching them blossom.
Kevin Folarin Lawrence – is an active member of Man Voice@DCN and “My Child Thrives” – by DCN, a Developmental Care Network Support Group on What’s App & FACEBOOK for families and caretakers of children on the spectrum/disabilities. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org