Autistic blind boy in moving amateur video

entertainment | May 22, 2012 | By Martin Barillas

Identified as Jacob, a blind and autistic boy is enthralled by a busker musician playing on the streets of Lawrence KS, as seen in a nearly-viral YouTube video. Jacob is seen with a woman, apparently his mother, as a bearded troubadour plays an American favorite 'The Midnight Special'. He then rocks back and forth on his sneakers to the rhythm as the singer strums and keeps the beat with his feet.

The boy then walks over to the busker, Tyler Gregory, and places his hand on the sound board and then the neck of the acoustic guitar.

"Our eight-year-old blind-autistic son Jacob enjoying some fine acoustic guitar by a musician in downtown Lawrence, Kansas on May 13, 2012," was a note that accompanied the video, apparently from one of Jacob's parents. Referring to the kind musician, the note continued, "Tyler ... Thank you so much for letting Jacob feel the music!"

The video was shot in the much-hated vertical mode, but nonetheless has garnered more than 400,000 hits. Comments on the video were very positive. For example, hertzoggyzogg wrote "This video really touched me, I want to hug him. Watched it several times and teared up instantly!! I'm always amazed at the innocence and beauty children can bring to those capable of recognizing. To those 'disliking' this, go back to your viral videos of talking dogs."

A further note from the parents said, "We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love towards Jacob and the 'Guitar Man' Tyler Gregory. We never could have imagined a video of our son and his chance encounter with a talented stranger could bring so much joy to those who watched it. We will be forever grateful for Tyler's kindness toward our son. Thank you all for 'feeling' the music with us."



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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