To listen to 10-year-old Eddie Johnson now, as he pours his heart and soul into his singing, you would never know that he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when he was just 2 years old.
A member of the elite PS22 Chorus on Staten Island, Johnson has not only learned how to interact with his peers, but he’s also sung with everyone from Eric Hutchinson to groups like A Great Big World, and has performed in the group’s wildly popular YouTube videos. But for Johnson, being a part of a group wasn’t always so easy.
Before joining chorus, Johnson’s mom, Jennifer Livingston, said he had a lot of trouble controlling his symptoms and would not be able “to be in a social situation,” and he would frequently act out and found it hard to get along with other children.
Gregg Breinberg, founder and director of the now world-famous chorus, recalled that when he asked Johnson why he likes singing, the 10-year-old said, “Because whenever I have a bad day or something, it always makes me feel better, it gets all my stress out. I’m just in with the music and I feel great.”
“If you did not know he had Asperger’s, you would never know,” said Breinberg. “You see this boy singing and you’re like ‘WOW, what a soulful child.'”
You can watch the full performance of “I Love This Life” with LOCASH featuring the PS22 Chorus on their Facebook page here.
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