One of my really good friends was diagnosed with autism at a young age, but you would have to know her well to figure out that she's on the spectrum. She's what they unofficially call "high-functioning."
There are a lot of stereotypes that accompany the condition, and this relays the wrong picture to those who aren't familiar with autism spectrum disorder.
Just because a person has autism doesn't mean that they're good with numbers or that they lack communication skills. Sure, some people fall really high on the spectrum so they may not be able to talk or compose themselves accordingly in certain social situations, but sometimes with the right help, things do get better.
Take for instance, ten-year-old Kaylee Rogers. She is on the autism spectrum and has also been diagnosed with ADHD, but you wouldn't be able to guess any of that when she takes the stage.
The young girl has been singing at home since she was three years old, but she didn't really start to sing publicly until her music teacher, Lloyd Scates, started encouraging her to do so.
"Her voice is absolutely fantastic, she's just fantastic," Scates told NBC News. "We work as a team. Anytime I play the piano, she sings."
Kaylee attends Killard House School, a special needs school in Northern Ireland, and she's a member of the choir there. The choir often does renditions of classic songs, so one holiday season, they decided to pay homage to the late Leonard Cohen, and perform what is arguably his most popular song, "Hallelujah."
Led by Kaylee, the choir's performance was so lovely and breathtaking that it went viral as soon as it was posted on YouTube. They reworked the song, using lyrics by American Christian rock band Cloverton, which gained popularity back in 2014.
The video has since been watched by over seven million viewers, and it's not hard to see why it garnered so much success.
"She gives off love and purity," Kaylee's mother, Tracy Rogers said, "and when she sings, it’s raw and pure."
I couldn't agree more, and you will too after you watch her sing. Grab some tissues and press play.
"We are all so happy that our singing has helped to make Christmas a little more special for so many people around the world," read a note on the school's website.
Kaylee's incredible performance earned her invites to perform at venues all over, including here in the United States.
Last year, she had the opportunity to wow the audience at the Boston Winter Ball, and she delivered a live performance of "Hallelujah" that once again had everyone in tears.
"I wasn't nervous at all, I just love doing it," Kaylee told the Belfast Telegraph. "It makes me feel happy that I'm doing it for everyone, they came over and they had a lot of happy tears."
In addition to "Hallelujah," she's also great at singing other songs...
Following her sudden viral fame, Kaylee got invited to give interviews and perform at radio stations, including BBC Radio.
Accompanied by her music teacher on piano, Kaylee performed a beautiful cover of Christina Perri's "One Thousand Years," as well as "Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord."
You can listen to her nail each performance in the videos below:
It looks like nothing, not even autism, can stop Kaylee from following her dreams and inspiring millions with her perseverance.
What did you think of her performances? Let us know in the comments!