Hey y’all… Happy Friday!😎
Friday Faves is a little meme where I can post some of my absolute favorite book related topics, including various tropes, awesome heroes/heroines, bad boys, bookish stuff and well… WHATEVER!
*REMEMBER: All the books featured on Friday Faves are books that I have read and adored at some point unless specifically noted!
THIS WEEK’S THEME:
April is “Autism Awareness Month” and I’m excited to post all kinds of goodies that have to do with autism on Friday Faves! I have a wonderful, precocious, smart, funny, beautiful niece on the “spectrum.” She’s six years old and I’m almost ashamed to say that before her birth, I wasn’t really aware of autism. I mean, I’d heard of it but I didn’t really KNOW anything about it.
This is the LAST day of April… Can you believe it?!? Let’s take a look at some awesome autistic musicians!
Travis Shane Meeks (born April 27, 1979) is an American musician and the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for acoustic rock band Days of the New. At age 17, Meeks was signed to Geffen Records, and from 1997 to 2001, his band of rotating musicians experienced mainstream success with three studio albums.
In an online interview with Meeks, licensed clinical counselor and blogger Stephen Borgman described Meeks’ Asperger syndrome and included many descriptions by Meeks himself. In this way, Meeks stated that he had “lived with intense shame and the feeling of extreme inadequacy. Everything I felt I did was wrong and that I could do nothing right. I wasn’t diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome until 2005. […] Thanks to my father, Gary Meeks, he knew I was different and tried to protect me from the vultures of punishment. I felt severely punished anyway by the way I felt when I was removed from my comfort zones such as putting me in school.”
David Byrne (/bɜːrn/; born 14 May 1952) is a Scottish-American singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, writer, music theorist, and filmmaker, who was a founding member and the principal songwriter, lead singer, and guitarist of the American new wave band Talking Heads.
In recent years, Byrne has spoken about how he self diagnosed himself as being on the autism spectrum. In a 2020 interview on Amy Schumer’s podcast 3 girls, 1 Keith, he stated that he felt that his Asperger’s was a superpower as it allows him to hyperfocus on his creative pursuits. 
Matthew “Matt” Savage (born May 12, 1992) is an American autistic savant musician. Born in Sudbury, Massachusetts, he is the son of Diane and Lawrence “Larry” Savage.
Savage was a precocious infant who walked early and learned to read by the age of 18 months. He was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, a form of autism, at age three. He did not like any noises or music during his early childhood.
At age six, Savage taught himself to read piano music. He studied classical piano for less than a year before discovering jazz, which became his main focus.
Despite his young age and his autism, and even without formal instruction in musical composition, Savage is an accomplished musician and composer. He has released twelve albums as a solo performer, as leader of the Matt Savage Trio and as leader of various sized ensembles. By the age of 14, he had also performed with Chaka Khan and other popular singers. His compositions are very approachable and often humorous.
James William Durbin (born January 6, 1989) is an American singer and guitarist from Santa Cruz, California, who finished in fourth place on the tenth season of American Idol in 2011. Durbin was the lead singer for heavy metal band Quiet Riot from 2017 to 2019.
He stated during his aired audition on American Idol that he was upset he didn’t have the chance to know his father well. He was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and Asperger syndrome shortly after his father died.
He appeared in a documentary, Different Is The New Normal, that focused on a teen’s effort to overcome Tourette syndrome.
Susan Magdalane Boyle (born 1 April 1961) is a Scottish singer. She rose to fame after appearing as a contestant on the third series of Britain’s Got Talent, singing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.
She was raised thinking that she had been briefly deprived of oxygen during a difficult birth resulting in a learning disability. However, she was told in 2012–13 that she had been misdiagnosed and has Asperger syndrome with an IQ “above average”. Boyle says she was bullied as a child.
In 2012, Boyle was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. She made her diagnosis public in a BBC interview in December 2013.
So much amazing talent out in the world! Do you know someone who’s on the spectrum? Have a fantastic day y’all!💜
I never knew Susan Boyle had autism. Learn something new every day. My best friends son has aspergers and I think we knew from when he was quite little but he didn’t get formally diagnosed until he was 9, so hard to get a diagnosis here unforts.