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By Patrick • Published on December 22nd, 2016

10-year-old girl with autism moves the audience to tears at a Christmas concert

It's a beautiful tribute to singer Leonard Cohen, who left us in November this year, and an inspiring Christmas story. Listen to Kaylee's amazing voice, but look also at the choir in the background: they are all special needs kids!

How a girl once afraid to speak has made her voice heard

Kaylee Rogers is 10 years old, and she attends Killard House School in Donaghadee —Northern Ireland—, a school dedicated to children with learning disabilities like our Therapeutic Learning Center. Kaylee was diagnosed with autism and ADHD and is usually very quiet and shy, according to her teachers.

But Lloyd Scates, the school's music teacher, discovered that she has a voice, and his patience and dedication helped her surpass her limitations.

“He got her to sing a few solos, and she performed at the Easter and Harvest concerts,” Killiad's principal, Colin Millar, says. “This helped her confidence to grow.“

School Christmas concert becomes Internet sensation

And last Sunday, the school held its end-of-the-year musical show, and Kaylee was called to sing a version of Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah,” with modified lyrics to reflect the Christmas season.
The lucky few who attended experienced a rare moment of emotion, her performance literally drove them to tears. Mr. Millar was one of them: “When I heard her sing Hallelujah, I can honestly say the hairs stood up on the back of my neck and I had tears in my eyes.
“Kaylee has the voice of an angel,” he says, “but I'm also very proud of all the students.
“The whole production of Hallelujah is really beautiful. It's just brilliant that these children, many of whom have learning difficulties and other issues, are bringing joy to other people with their singing.”

Someone had the bright idea to record the show, and to post Kaylee's performance on Facebook. In a matter of days, it has gone viral, and to date the video has been viewed over 1,000,000 times all over the world!

Watch the video on Youtube or on Facebook, or wherever you find it, and spread the word: Special needs children got talent! At Bright Steps Forward we witness it every day.

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