Johnny Orr assumes the role of an autistic boy and says what that boy might say if he were able communicate like a neurotypical kid in his gently swaying ballad, “We’ll Get By (The Autism Song).”
As a singer and songwriter with a dozen or so songs with Nashville publishing deals, it’s Orr’s life work to assume the character of someone else and bring that character to life in song. But autism is no fiction, it’s now said to afflict about one out of 68 American children today.
Orr’s song, sprung from a social network friendship struck up with Candi Spitz, is a touching but astute portrayal of both the struggles and the hidden blessings that come with being an autistic child, and the parent of one. Spitz, the mother of autistic twin sons, is also the Vice-President of Blooming With Autism, a 501c nonprofit organization that seeks “to unite the Autism Community and provide the tools, resources, awareness and advocacy necessary for our families affected by Autism.” Part of the proceeds brought in by this song goes to BWA.
“We’ll Get By,” spun out of Orr’s new EP Down South, is all about the awareness portion of that mission. Coinciding with Autism Awareness Month, Orr is doing his part in a child’s unspoken words and a lilting melody. It’s real, as real as the autism around us.
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