Many people are familiar with the Autism Speaks Organization, but with Chicago based singer, Noah Jack, Autism Sings! Noah was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder early in life and reports not being able to speak until he was five years old. He began working with a speech therapist and by elementary school, it was Noah’s singing that began to catch the attention of teachers and family. Noah started singing at various events and his passion has led him to Belmont University where he is currently studying music. Noah reports he hopes to use his music to inspire others, especially parents of children with autism. Noah credits so much of his journey through music and Autism to his family and friends, which is reflected in his recently released single “Neighborhood”. We are honored to have the opportunity to sit with Noah and share some of his story with you all.
Autism spectrum disorder, is best defined as a range of conditions characterized by difficulty with social skills, speech and nonverbal communication, repetitive behaviors, and unique strengths and differences. Noah states once he moved past the speech obstacles, he struggled primarily with non-verbal cues and stress levels, but states his family and hometown were a major support growing up with autism. One of the ways, Noah explains, was they had an informal type of buddy system with him when he was younger. He is the youngest of 5 brothers and states between his family and the community, he never felt alone.
When we asked Noah about musical influences in his life, he told us his family is not musically talented, but he recalls his mother often playing music during car rides. Noah says he and his mother would sing along to the Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock song “Picture”. Noah speaks in a high regard to his mother’s support, referencing her as an “angel”. “My mom is thoughtful, loving, and positive”. It is evident in meeting with Noah, that his mother’s positivity and “bubbly” nature has not left Noah unaffected. Noah shares a contagious optimism with a world of possibilities as the centerpiece. We inquired about his positive outlook and Noah’s reply was simple and communicated with such sincerity. He said “you just have to smile, even if you’re faking it sometimes”. Noah reports he focuses on the positives, even when things don’t go the way he had hoped. Noah seems to have this same perspective with people. Every person Noah would tell us about in his life, he would start by listing the positive attributes he sees in them. Although positive, Noah doesn’t overlook obstacles, but rather focuses on solutions. For example, Noah admits he has a lot he wants to learn about music business, but he talks more about what he can do to obtain the information he needs than the current lack of knowledge. Same when he speaks about his autism. He doesn’t express desires for things to have been different, but is proud of his unique story and excited to share it with others through his music. Sometimes we get hung up in the emotional disparity of disadvantages. Perhaps instead of our desired shift in circumstances, what we really need is a little shift in perspective.
We cannot express the excitement we have in watching where Noah’s journey will take him next and the lives he will touch through his music. We appreciate Noah taking the time to sit with us and we want to support his goal of bringing awareness to Autism through music. Make sure to check out Noah’s newest single “Neighborhood” and we look forward to hearing more of his music along the way. We have included links for Noah’s music as well as Autism Speaks, where you can find more information on Autism and how you can help.
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