This is a picture of the HiHopes, a band including several prodigiously gifted and otherwise handicapped people. My autistic brother is standing next to the man with dark glasses.
My brother moved to the Los Angeles area more than 15 years ago to be in this band. Music is what he lives for. He plays bass guitar in the band, but can also play the keyboard and miscellaneous other instruments such as the trumpet and the viola. He can listen to a song and then play it, in all its different parts. Unlike the others, he can read music. The people at Hope University (which runs the HiHopes) say he is a musical savant. There are several others in the band too, people who may have trouble speaking but who play the most amazing music.
The band usually plays oldies, music from ’60s and ’70s. They play at parties and weddings around southern California.
My brother also has a part-time job working in a warehouse. He drives himself there and back–it’s a long way, maybe an hour’s commute. He lives by himself. I’m very proud of my autistic brother, who did not speak until he was 5 years old. Now he’s 52.
The HiHopes are having their annual fundraiser concert and auction Saturday, May 1, in Anaheim, California. If you are interested in finding out more about this unique ministry to the gifted, check out the Hope University website at http://www.hopeu.com/