From a young age, most of us learn to fit in rather than stand out.
No matter how old we are, there is always social pressure around us which affects our behavior. We are encouraged to do what others are doing, to suppress the things about us that are different in order to get along. Aside from our behaviors, we are sometimes born differently—in the case of those born with autism, fitting in can be much more difficult as a result of a different view of the world.
For children growing up with autism, the world can be an especially tricky place to navigate.
That was the case for 10-year-old Calum Courtney.
Courtney is a young boy who lives with his family in Basildon, Essex in England. Needless to say, autism is a broad spectrum and can affect people very differently. Courtney has high-functioning autism, which means social interactions are more difficult and he has challenges when making new friends. On the other hand, however, Courtney is not afraid to get up in front of a crowd and sing.
And that’s exactly what he did in one video which has recently gone viral on Facebook.
The clip takes place at a local supermarket where the spirit moved Courtney to burst out into song. In the video he sings Smokey Robinson’s “Who’s Lovin’ You” and completely blows away the crowd. While he is only 10 years old, Courtney shows off a truly impressive voice for such a little guy—and packs as much soul into it as he possibly can!
Although Courtney sometimes struggles with his social skills, stage fright is clearly not a concern.
As it turns out, Courtney is no stranger to these kinds of events.
According to his family, everyone describes Courtney’s singing voice as his “superpower.” His mother Tupney Courtney said:
“He is always singing around the house and performing in public has never been a problem. The more people, the better for Calum when he is performing . . . [autism] may take a little from other areas of life but it’s given him the superpower of music.”
Above all, Calum’s inspired performance should inspire us all to believe in ourselves.
In a society where we’re afraid to stand out or make waves, it can be hard to know who we are or how to achieve our dreams—especially when we’re very different from those around us. As Calum has shown with this video, though, it’s the things that are different about us that truly make us special.
Thanks for the performance, Calum!
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