Christopher Duffley was only 11 years old when he took to the stage to perform his favorite song.
For Christopher, music is his first language and his favorite way of communicating.
In fact, he sang before he could converse. Born weighing less than two pounds, he lost his sight at birth due to a condition called retinopathy of prematurity. After being in the foster care system, he went to live with his uncle.
“We went down to Florida and took him out of the foster care system.” said his uncle, introducing him before a performance. “He’s been a blessing to our family and he loves to share his gifts.”
When he was older, Christopher was also diagnosed with autism.
Although ‘s a common condition, many neurotypical people do not understand it. Unfortunately, there continues to be stigma and judgment about what autism is. Now, Christopher has become an advocate for the rights of autistic individuals.
Christopher was drawn to music from a very early age. When he was four years old, he learned what a microphone was and immediately wanted to perform. He sang for the first time when he was in first grade, performing for a Memorial Day assembly. When he was only 10 years old, he sang the National Anthem at events across the country, including at Fenway Park and NASCAR.
His uncle recalled how Christopher’s talent for music began with an immediate desire to perform.
“At four years old, he went down to the front of the music ministry and they handed him a microphone and he sang the song he’s gonna sing tonight: ‘Open the Eyes of My Heart’,” said his uncle.
When Christopher began to sing, he unleashed a voice that was clear, strong, and sweet. It was evident that he loved the song.
The video of Christopher’s performance went viral, sparking a new career for him.
He has released two albums and performed all over the country. He’s a passionate advocate for the autistic community.
He was named one of “10 Amazing Individuals With Autism Who Shined” by Autism Speaks.
His first album, was entitled “Eyes of My Heart.” His sister Grace joined him for the recording of his second album, “Believer.”
Christopher also features a podcast on his website, Mission Possible.
There, he discusses the music he’s been recording as well as other experiences he’s had while touring and performing. Christopher has come a long way since his performance as a 10-year-old boy onstage in Concord, New Hampshire.
People around the world have been touched by Christopher’s work in his church and the autistic community. But more than anything, they’re touched by his beautiful voice and his love of music.
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