Well you know – except when there are:
As Charlene Sawyer, a bespectacled young woman in jeans and pink Nikes, sings “Danny Boy,” they stand still. They don’t sip their beers or talk among themselves or puff on their cigarettes. They just listen.
Sawyer sings the old Irish ballad like they’ve never heard it before, delivering it in a spine-tingling, operatic style, her specialty.
When she finishes, the crowd fills the bar with applause. Sawyer grins and scoops up her orange notebook of sheet music. She knows she nailed it.
What most of the patrons in the bar don’t know is that Sawyer is autistic.
The Centre for Disabilities this young lady attends describes her as ‘an exceptional talent’. But what is also clear – as the article mentions is that her autism plays more than a passing role in her singing:
Because of her disability, Sawyer will probably never sing in a great performance hall. But if she didn’t have autism, she likely wouldn’t have cultivated her voice to such a degree in the first place. Many high-functioning autistics such as herself nurse obsessions, and Sawyer’s obsession is music.
I’m not so sure this young lady might not ever sing in a ‘great performance hall’. She might have trouble and need help, but I bet she could. What is beyond doubt is the fact that her autism’s insistence of attention to detail and perseverance is what made her voice the beautiful thing it is now.
I’d say from reading the rest of the article that she might have a thing or two to learn about other autistic people but what is beyond doubt that autism has helped make her who she is. Without autism, her gift for singing would’ve been lessened or not be actualised at all.
There are people in this life who will tell you everything about autism is bad, that it contains no positives. Do not trust these people because – as the story Charlene Sawyer shows – they are wrong. Life is never so black and white.