In this TED video, piano teacher Adam Ockelford talks us through the remarkable development of Derek Paravicini who is described as being blind and severely Autistic. Paravicini, who is a great grandson of Somerset Maughan, relied on his hearing and has achieved considerable success as a pianist. While Autism is characterised by difficulties with empathy, Paravicini connects musically with the audience with effortless ease. This reminds us that we should not make too many assumptions about autism or indeed empathy. Labels and constructs have extremely useful functions but are not meant to encapsulate the human condition. Time and again the human spirit leaves us in awe.
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