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The Genius Of Autism

Originally Posted: January 18, 2011

Dr. Deepak Chopra speaks. (Ann Watt)

New York City - Sunday night at Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall, the 'Genius of Autism' honored 16 enormously talented autistic youth for their accomplishments in the fields of music, visual arts, poetry and athletics. Actress Laura Linney, along with a host of Broadway's biggest stars and some very talented young adults brought the house down in a unique and dramatic event presented by the McCarton Foundation for Developmental Disabilities.

Elaine Hall, founder of the Miracle Project with Wyatt Isaacs.

The brainchild of Dr. Cece McCarton, founder of the McCarton Foundation for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, expressed her motivation for creating this event best; "Often talents are not discovered in autistic individuals because so many people have stereotyped or limited expectations of their abilities. The tragedy of autism is not only with the individual who has autism but also with us who are often blind to the talents that lay hidden within them." The line between ability and disability is a very thin one that often goes undetected.

These brilliant and brave children were the real stars of the evening, honored by world renowned performers including Dr. William H. Cosby, Jr., Dr. Deepak Chopra, Alicia Keys, Malaak Compton-Rock, Michelle Miller of CBS News, and Holly Robinson-Peete. The crowd was wowed with performances by Kelli O'Hara from "South Pacific," Billy Porter, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lauren Kennedy and Ann Harada, and a chorus with singers from "Wicked," "The Drowsy Chaperone," "Hair," "Rent," "The Lion King," "Everyday Rapture" and the TV series "Big Love."

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney kicked the evening off with a VIP reception in the Rohatyn Room. Speakers Lou Toscano and Chad Kasprzak started the bidding off on over 20 pieces of artwork by various artists affected by autism including honorees Stephen Wiltshire, Justin Canha and more.

The evening was produced by the incredibly talented Daisy Prince Chaplin and Elizabeth Howell and commandeered by parent and visionary Michele Pierce-Burns whose son Danson's poetry inspired the audience of over 500 supporters including Penny Toepfer, Kate Grandin, Linda Zelenko, Whitney Loy, Jordyn Kopin, Shawn and Suzanne Rubin, Roberta Loewenstein, Mitchell Rubin, David and Jill Robbins, Alan and Karin Wilzig, Ronald and Michelle Herzlinger, Stephen and Lora Barbera, Michelle Russell Johnson, Pam, Valerie and Joel Edelman, Alexandra Shiva and Jonathan Sherman.

The Global Autism Project

Updated: January 18, 2011, 12:38 pm
Appeared In: out and about >> within the city