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Where Passion Meets Purpose: The Inspiring Story of ASD Band

Celebrate the successes of the ASD Band for Autism Awareness Month.

Key points

  • Here's a spotlight on the ASD Band.
  • Let's promote a message of positivity and inspiration.
  • One aspect of a person's identity does not define their worth or potential.
Show&Tell Films
ASD Band
Show&Tell Films

Today, I am celebrating the successes of the ASD Band and their families for Autism Awareness Month to inspire hope and promote a message of acceptance and understanding. In recognition of the strengths and successes of the autism community, I am delighted to showcase the exceptional talent of the ASD Band (named for autism spectrum disorder), a Toronto-based group of musicians and talented performers on the autism spectrum: Ron Adea, pianist, Jackson D. Begley, guitarist, Spenser Murray, drummer. and vocalist, and Rawan Tuffaha, lead singer.

ASD Band was formed in 2019 to support Jake’s House, a Canadian autism charity. ASD Band is proactive and publicly contributes to the musical arts around Canada and the United States. In 2021, they released their first extended play (EP), a collection of six original pop songs written and arranged by the band members. My favorite music by ASD Band is the single I Got You Babe, from 2020, and Fireflies from the album Follow You in 2021.

Directed by Mark Bone and written by Greg Rosati, ASD Band: The Movie was released in 2022 and named the second-place winner of the Rogers Audience Award, a part of the Hot Docs Festival in Canada. ASD Band also premiered in Canada’s Got Talent in 2023. Most recently, ASD Band was interviewed with a live performance of Fireflies for The Kelly Clarkson Show in April 2024.

Although ASD Band is busy, band member Ron Adea and his parents carved out a moment to chat about their journey. With great enthusiasm, they shared their remarkable journey with me, offering invaluable insight, inspiration, and the power of the human spirit to achieve greatness. Find encouragement in their triumphant path and let their achievements inspire you to navigate your own path to success, as ASD Band did.

Dr. Lisa: Where did you become lucky in your journey?

RA: It all started at the Sony Centre in Toronto on April 2, 2019, and we had an event in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day for the Jake’s House Charity Event.

Dr. Lisa: When was the moment that you knew that you wanted to be a part of the ASD Band?

RA: On October 6, 2020, when we did the first recording at the Metalworks Studios, and that was the day when we were featured in the City TV’s Breakfast Television, that was the time when I felt that the ASD Band is where I belong.

Dr. Lisa: How did it happen?

RA: We performed Give a Little Bit with Roger Hodgson on the stage along with a 43-piece orchestra. Wow!

Dr. Lisa: Wow is right. Rodger Hodgson is an English singer, musician, songwriter, and member of the progressive rock band Supertramp. You are an inspiration to other individuals with ASD. What is that like for you?

RA: I am sharing my music and being an inspiration to everyone in the world.

Dr. Lisa: Who or what inspired you?

RA: God gave me the gift of music that inspired me to share and I feel so happy and blessed because I was able to share our music with all.

Dr. Lisa: That is a blessing to others. What advice would you give to students with ASD with aspirations of being in a band or entering the music industry?

RA: The best advice from me is continuous learning just like me. I used to play classical pieces on the piano before, but now with the ASD Band, I am learning how to compose the songs and learning how to play other genres on the piano.

Dr. Lisa: As a parent of an adult with ASD, share your path beyond feeling helpless (or hopeless) or maybe even limitless about the range of what can be achieved with ASD. What would you say to other parents of children with ASD?

Parents Lucy and Romeo Adea: At first, it was a feeling of helplessness because, during that time, knowledge about autism was very limited. And I felt hopeless during Ron’s journey in the 90s as the resources were scarce and unaffordable. But as time moved on, autism awareness has grown to the fact that most people now have a good general knowledge of what it is. In turn, it is much easier for parents like us to deal with the condition due to acceptance in society as a whole. So, thanks to this openness, we feel support from others, and it reminds us to allow those on the spectrum to grow and develop the God-given talents they have. We know it is still a challenge to raise children with autism, but in the end, it’s very rewarding.

I hope that ASD Band’s determination and successes inspire you to pursue your dreams and reach for greatness. For parents, raising a child with autism can bring its own set of challenges; however, it is important to remember that it is just one aspect of their identity and does not define their worth or potential. It may also bring forth new roads or experiences that you may have not imagined. With understanding, acceptance, and support, your autistic child can achieve their goals and contribute positively to their communities and the world.

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