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    HomeCANADA ENTERTAINMENTToronto’s ASD Band needs others on the autism spectrum to know: ‘We...

    Toronto’s ASD Band needs others on the autism spectrum to know: ‘We can do anything’



    It takes a variety of gumption to call your band after your individual neurodevelopmental situation.

    But the 4 members of the ASD Band — the acronym stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder — wouldn’t have it some other method.

    It’s the fact that singer Rawan Tuffaha, keyboardist Ron Adea, guitarist Jackson Begley and drummer Spenser Murray take care of day by day and, now that they’ve bonded by music, the Toronto rockers wish to dispel stereotypes and present the world the sky is the restrict when it comes to their particular person capabilities.

    In reality, they view themselves because the poster kids for potential and chance.

    “I want everyone to know who is on the spectrum that we’re different but not less, and we can do anything we can to put our hearts and minds into,” declared Tuffaha on a latest Zoom name.

    “And we want them to have faith in themselves, regardless of what their talents may be, such as technology, music, baking or math.”

    Tuffaha greater than eloquently makes her level along with her lyrics on the title observe of “Fireflies,” a just lately launched six-song EP of authentic materials that places the listener within the sneakers of a group that’s usually as misunderstood as it’s underappreciated.

    “We have abilities to blow your mind / Don’t underestimate us, we’re one of a kind / It’s our time to shine,” Tuffaha wails along with her commanding voice, articulating combined feelings of frustration, defiance, hope and self-determination all through the rock ’n’ roll anthem.

    There are extra folks residing on the spectrum than you may understand: a 2018 National Autism Spectrum Disorder Surveillance System report discovered 1 in 66 Canadian kids and youths aged 5 to 17 identified as being on the spectrum, whereas the Canadian Medical Association Journal estimates one to 2 per cent of the Canadian inhabitants is autistic, together with an estimated 135,000 residing in Ontario.

    Defined by Autism Ontario as “a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people and the world around them,” autism might have an effect on physique language, social interactions, relationships, private engagement and sensory processing capacities, with sound and noise factoring into that processing each positively and negatively.

    “The spectrum is very wide,” stated Andrew Simon, chief inventive officer of Edelman Canada and a board member of Mississauga charity Jake’s House, which helps households affected by autism.

    Simon is the ASD Band’s commission-free supervisor and the person who assembled the group’s lineup.

    “For these individuals, music is their communication,” Simon stated. “A couple of the band members were noncommunicative before music gave them their outlet.”

    The ASD Band story started on World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, 2019.

    Ex-Supertramp singer Roger Hodgson carried out a free live performance at what’s now Meridian Hall with Tuffaha, Adea, Begley and Murray becoming a member of him and a 43-piece orchestra for Supertramp hit “Give a Little Bit.”

    They performed to a packed home and Tuffaha stated sharing the stage with Hodgson was a thrill.

    “It was an amazing experience and I loved that the crowd loved us.”

    After the present, the ASD Band grew to become a longer-term initiative “to really celebrate who they were as individuals and be in a collective experience that goes against the stereotype of people thinking those on the spectrum are aloof or like to be separated from society.”

    They started rehearsing and recording cowl songs, anchored on bass by veteran musician Maury LaFoy, previously of Ottawa’s Starling, who has since labored with all kinds of Canadian musical luminaries, Terra Lightfoot, Bruce Cockburn, k-os, Sarah Harmer and Danny Michel amongst them.

    LaFoy stated he bought in concerned with the band at the perfect of former Chalk Circle singer Chris Tait and Ari Posner at sonic branding company Pirate Toronto.

    “Those guys were helping Jake’s House realize this vision they had, that people on the autism spectrum can do a whole bunch of things.”

    After being recruited for bass duties, LaFoy was quickly retained to assist with arranging and manufacturing. He says his function with the ASD Band “has been a real great shot in the arm to me.”

    “What’s great about them is that they say yes to everything and anything,” he stated. “There’s never any reluctance. They’re totally focused on content and the real reason that you would create music, for the enjoyment of it and for the success of seeing the thing through, as opposed to any commercial translation or success.

    “These guys have taught me to stay open and keep breathing, and make sure you don’t shut down creativity.”

    After they coated Imagine Dragons’ “All for You” and acquired a social media stamp of approval from the band’s Daniel Platzman, Simon prompt the band begin composing originals early final summer time.

    “Fireflies” was the primary and Simon praises the band for talking its collective reality.

    “The reality is that they’ve embraced the fact that they’re living with autism, that they openly talk about the fact that they are on the spectrum. And I think that’s important because that’s part of who they are.”

    The band is working towards recording its subsequent batch of songs.

    Although the pandemic has prevented the ASD Band from performing in entrance of an viewers — the Hodgson look has been their solely dwell present thus far — they’ve continued to rehearse and hope to play dwell as soon as COVID-19 restrictions subside.

    For Tuffaha, the ASD Band is step one in hopefully following different profitable musicians who’ve recognized themselves as autistic, David Byrne and Eminem amongst them.

    “It gives me strength and confidence,” Tuffaha stated.

    “What I like best about the band is that we have a myriad of abilities and that we showcase them. This is fulfilling me because my dream is to be a famous singer and to show also to the autism community, as long as we have our goals and it’s something we can accomplish, we can do it as long as we have faith in ourselves.

    “I hope one day we’ll all be famous.”



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