A 22-year-old autistic blind singer won NBC’s America’s Got Talent contest Wednesday night, inspiring millions and sparking celebration among autistic families nationwide.
With his mother Tina standing by his side, Kodi Lee was announced as the winner in front of a national audience, edging the second-place act, the Detroit Youth Choir. He won $1 million and a chance to perform at a Las Vegas show.
The popular series is a talent show for singers, dancers, comedians and illusionists – anyone with a unique gift that can entertain an audience. Viewers vote to decide the winner.
Lee speaks primarily through his music, playing the piano and hitting notes few singers can. He is autistic but also has savant syndrome, which, according to the National Institutes of Health website, is a “rare, but extraordinary, condition in which persons with serious mental disabilities” including autism have an “island of genius.” Lee, though, is what is called “prodigious savant” – a term “reserved for those extraordinarily rare individuals for whom the special skill is so outstanding that it would be spectacular even if it were to occur in a non-impaired person.”
His website says there are only about 25 individuals in the world like him.
Lee jumped up and down excitedly when his name was announced as the winner. His mother began crying.
Asked how it felt to win, Lee said, “Amazing. Unbelievable.”
Fans congratulated him on social media.
One viewer wrote, “Yessssssss!!!!! I am a mom to a daughter on the spectrum. Kodi you are beyond amazing and you more than deserve this.”
Still another person, who said he has autism, wrote, “Let this moment show the world that disabled people can achieve big things in life.”
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Source: Christian Headlines