The Cutest Singer in the World

Here's Leo performing Shoo Fly at yesterday's variety show at his school, which featured performances from the littlest students to members of the adult program (Leo and many of his peers will probably stay at the school ... forever).

Leo was awesome, don't you think? It's worth noting that he can sing much, much longer sequences than he can string together conversationally -- I've been wondering for just about ever if there's a way to use the former to build on the latter. Ideas?

Leo's sisters and three cousins were able to watch his performance, and they were very proud of him too, as was Jennyalice (whose Jake was the cutest bumblebee ever).

My favorite moment of the show was when one of the show's star teen performers came and sat next to Iz and her equally suddenly leggy cousins. He was quite charming. "I'm happy!," he told them, then "I'm hungry. Are you hungry?" The girls admitted that they were, and that was the extent of the conversation, and cheerfulness continued to reign. No one ever mentioned anything odd about the exchange -- they said afterward that they thought he was really nice. Chalk one up for autism acceptance as a matter of course -- as nothing worth mentioning, even. Except for by this ever-vigilant and very proud -- in more ways than one -- mother.

I love Leo's school (and staff) so so so much.


  1. Delurker...

    I have been reading your blog for a couple of years, as well as Can You Sit With Me?

    Clearly Leo is the *Cutest* Singer Ever. Between Leo and your girls, you have much to be proud of!

  2. He did such a great job!

  3. Oh my goodness, that was cute! And, do you wanna know something funny? My son Cody (autistic) hates flies, so when he heard Leo singing over the computer, he go all nervous thinking there was a fly in the house. Around here, "fly" IS the F-word. :)

  4. Aw, Jules, thanks. What a treat to finally hear from you.

    Jenny - agreed! The other performers were awesome, too. As were the videos. As was the full-house audience. And the staff. It's just a fantastic community - so grateful to be part of it.

    DeeAnn - apologies about the trigger. He also sang another song, but knocked over the mic mid-tune, which caused confusion and delay. Not ready for prime time.

  5. When I saw last night that he was going to perform, I was hoping for video! He was great, and from our perspective, so brave. Not ONE of my children could do what he was doing. Love it.

  6. Adorable Leo! Someday I will meet your family in person, I just know it, Shan!

    Many years ago there was a special on PBS about a mother who only sang to her autistic son. It got results. He was able to follow directions beyond a one or two sequence because he sang it repeatedly. I took heart of that and always sang to all four of our kids - none of who are autistic but all of them have a love of music that goes above and beyond what they would have in a home with no TV. One is artistically gifted. One is musically gifted. One is dramatically gifted. And one we're still trying to figure out (she is our sports kid, which we have NO idea where it comes from). But, music is in all of their lives - and it makes life fun, too!

  7. Janine Boleda10:41 PM

    Could he be any cuter?...the hat, the bow tie....PERFECTION!!!! What a beautiful singing voice, amazing!

  8. Anne Gaspar8:14 AM

    My son can also string more words together singing than in conversation. He also has an intense love of music. My husband & I make up random songs about things. We have songs like "Pee in the Potty" (my son is 4 & is still struggling w/potty training). Sometimes I think that I probably would look silly to someone if they were to come in & hear us. But then I remind myself that my son digs it, so that's all that matters.
    Thanks for your blog. My son's diagnosis of autism isn't even a year old. It's nice to hear from those that understand. Oh & I'm stealing your quote "We're here, we're quirky, get used to it." Still trying to get comfortable with looks & stares from others, so your quote is perfect for me.


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