By Joe Cingrana
10-year-old Calum Cull from Essex, England has high functioning autism, so he doesn’t need extreme care, but he struggles socially and academically.
Calum has been finding enjoyment in singing since the age of four, and his mother, Tupney Cull, says he even taught himself to play the drums at only 18-months. “I know it sounds ridiculous,” she says, “but I promise it really started that young!”
The youngster’s singing has been getting progressively better over the last few years, causing him to make a choice to be front and center stage rather than back behind the kit. Recently, Calum’s skills appeared in videos on the Facebook group “A Special Community,” which shows people with disabilities defying odds.
Calum, who was diagnosed with high functioning ASD as well as ADHD lives at home with his mother, father, brother and two dogs and doesn’t particularly enjoy school since it’s a difficult place for him to be.
Calum’s mom Tupney says the family likes to see autism as part of Calum rather than letting it define them, believing autism is a gift. Although his autism may cause him to be deficient in social and academic skills, for Calum, his energy gets focused on his musical prowess.
“We are very lucky that Calum’s autism doesn’t affect Calum in ways that it could’ve done as he is luckily very high functioning,” Tupney said. “It just makes his life that bit more of a challenge, but with music, he knows he can overcome these obstacles.
Watch Calums powerful performance below and follow along with his progress on YouTube.