I'm deeply touched by the sound of the American national anthem... when it's sung well, or with feeling. This morning, I watched a video that brought me to tears.
It shows a little girl, seven-year-old Gina Incandela. She's as old as my own daughter. And she absolutely NAILS the song, even the high notes.
What's even more amazing is that this little girl has PDD NOS, an autistic spectrum disorder.
According to her mother, music therapy was something they never expected would have such a huge impact on the little girl... but it absolutely has. It's given her a link to the world that few of us have, the ability to express the deepest part of our hearts through song. On their website, her mom writes, "this beautiful child that once could not speak, has established herself as an up and coming vocal star."
If you love an autistic child like I do, you'll be pretty darn impressed at this point. It's really very difficult for most kids with autism to be in any crowded room, surrounded by so much noise and activity. This is precisely why my oldest child has never attended a professional sports event or concert. But to be the center of everyone's attention? To have a camera trained on you? Thousands of people watching you, listening to you?
If you have an autistic child, you'll also recognize the "hand flap" -- it's something many kids with autism do when they're excited, nervous, overstimulated or frightened. My son does it. Gina does it right around that one really high note near the end of the song, at the words "land of the free."
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