I watched America’s Got Talent and saw Kodi Lee, the blind and autistic young man sing Donny Hathaway’s song, “A Song For You” perfectly. Before performing you could tell it was difficult for him to speak. The judges and the crowd were wowed by his talent and gave him a standing ovation. Many in the audience had tears in their eyes.
Then Gabrielle Union, a new judge, hit the golden buzzer sending this young man straight to the live shows. But the judges and audience were not the only ones celebrating this boy’s talent. As a special needs mom, tears welled up in my eyes as well.
- Gabrielle Union hugged Kodi telling him, “You just changed the world.” I agree. Kodi Lee just changed the world for the special needs community.
Kodi’s & Samuel’s Impact
I was so thankful this young man represented special needs people everywhere. His life has value. He has something to offer the world. He did not let his obstacles determine his outcome.
I believe every life has value. I point to my son, Samuel as an example. He cannot sing and has no applaudable talent to celebrate. He is non-verbal, can’t walk, dress himself and will need lifelong care. However, these traits do not define who Samuel is and what he means to others who know him and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- A reader shared that whenever she has a bad day she picks up Samuel’s book, A Miracle In My Living Room to give her inspiration.
Samuel’s life is defined by pure joy. The joy of a smile. The joy of a laugh. The joy of parents who love him dearly. The joy of those who know him personally. And the joy of those who see him from afar.
Special Needs Awareness
What Kodi did in one audition showed the world that special needs children and adults are special, valuable and well-loved. I would add, even when there is no specific talent to applaud. And for that I am thankful.
May this bring a new awareness to the world about the special needs community. A new respect. A new way of seeing that these special ones should be valued and treasured. Understanding that “normal” is different for special needs children but that their normalness is no less valuable. To appreciate these differences and even celebrate them is the goal of the founder of Special Books by Special Kids, SBSK.
One Man’s Mission
Chris has an amazing ability to connect with special needs children and adults. He sees past their challenges and disabilities to see the true person connecting with them on their level. He started his organization called Special Books By Special Kids aimed at “Normalizing the diversity of the human condition.” With over 2 million followers on Facebook and 1.5 million followers on YouTube, Chris is bringing special needs awareness to a whole new audience.
Here is Samuel’s “interview” with Chris:
I look forward to watching Kodi inspire millions around the world as he continues to sing on America’s Got Talent. May his performances continue to highlight the special needs community by bringing awareness and positive change.