Autism anthem inspired by NJ warrior mom and it’s really good
The term autism warrior mom is meant as a badge of honor, and if you’re a parent of a child with autism you already know. On this last day of Autism Awareness Month I want to share with you a quick story of one such mom.
Irisa Leverette is a math professor and mother to 16-year-old Darius who has autism. He was diagnosed at 18 months. He’s considered nonverbal but does have some words. He loves music. I also hear he’s a pretty darn good cook. Even though raising a child with autism can be exhausting (I know; two of my children have it) Darius is the light of Irisa’s world.
That’s what outsiders don’t understand. Us autism parents see what strangers don’t. Strangers see the occasional meltdown at the mall or the quirky, “weird” flapping of arms at the grocery store or the covering of the ears on the train. We however see the reason why. And we also see the things that make them just like everyone else; that they want friends like everyone else, that they have things they’re good at just like everyone else, that they have good days and bad days just like everyone else, and that they feel love and need love just like everyone else even if their autism makes it difficult to show.
Well Irisa loves her son so much that she reached out to singer Nikki Paige on social media about recording a song for autism. Nikki, who while not autistic had her own speech impediment as a kid and can relate to being different, said she would.
And boy did she.
Inspired by Irisa and Darius, Nikki Paige created a song so good it serves as an anthem for autism and warriors everywhere. For reasons still unknown New Jersey has the highest rate of autism in the country so I think a lot of families here will like this.
The song is called "Our Own Way," and according to WPIX was produced by two-time Grammy winner Timothy Bloom.
Take a listen.
The words are incredible. The song is amazing. For Irisa she was most touched by the words “I’ve got you and you’ve got me, and one day the world will see, we are beautiful in our own way.”
Look for this song because Paige and Leverette say they want to donate all the streaming earnings to help kids like Darius and their families. They plan on donating to WallynZavy’s Autistic Kids Can Do. Irisa has also set up this GoFundMe page where you can make a direct donation.
Well done, mom, very well done!
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.