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GH’s Maurice Benard & American Idol’s Adin Boyer Tackle Autism On SOM

The choral teacher discusses living with ASD and finding his purpose in life.

general hospital star maurice benard talks with american idol contestant adin boyer on som.Maurice Benard sits down with Adin Boyer on SOM.

Once again, General Hospital’s Maurice Benard is covering new ground on his YouTube video podcast, State Of Mind, by inviting American Idol contestant, Adin Boyer, to join him for a deep dive into discussing living with Autism and the bullying that stems from the behavioral patterns that accompany it. The neurodivergent high school teacher will win you over with his can-do personality and matter-of-fact delivery by the time he finishes sharing his compelling journey from diagnosis to artistic mastery on SOM.

Maurice Benard & Adin Boyer: Peeling Back The Layers Of Autism

The singer/songwriter from Lake Forest, California, described how his parents first noticed the signs of autism. “For a lot of people, it is not readily apparent until around 18 months to 2 years.” His parents noticed the symptoms early on. “My family knew that something was up with me immediately after I was born. They just knew that I wasn’t developing typically. I wasn’t hitting all of the typical milestones.”

Boyer detailed to Benard (Sonny Corinthos) some of the flags to look for. “For example, I had speech, typical speech development, but I could not communicate through it, so I would just repeat words all of the time.” He continued, “I was in my own world, and I had no idea on how to reference other people or how to communicate by any means, so every form of how we effectively communicate today had to be manually taught to me in three years of intensive therapy. I was diagnosed with Autism at age 2.

“Basically, every aspect of communication throughout my life was based on what was manually taught to me.” Boyer related that others with the same diagnoses might not have the same experience he did. “Many people, who are on the spectrum or maybe diagnosed later, know how to reference people. They were born with the capability to watch other people and learn from the other people how to communicate. I had none of that.”

The teacher went on to explain how his parents and experts addressed his diagnosis. “I had to have therapy that taught me how to reference other people and how to communicate effectively.” Yet the struggle continues on a daily basis, and he has a great attitude toward it. “I have had social struggles my whole life, although now I am very lucky to be in a position to have a few friends. I think that is because I am one of the luckiest people in the world, and I am surrounded by incredible people. I have the arts to thank for that.”

Bullying Hurt While Music Healed

Boyer revealed yet another hurdle to conquer with ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorders] – other people’s misunderstanding and fear. “I was severely bullied as a child. People called me names. People threw stuff at me. Teachers bullied me. Abused their power in front of me and humiliated me. I have a lot of trauma from that.”

He shared how music changed all of that. “But, come middle school, when I attended this special school where I now teach, I was able to flourish. I was able to be myself. I was able to hone in on my art a lot more. I think that was one of the big kickstarts to my ultimate success in life.”

The 21st Season American Idol contestant went on to lay out his journey from diagnosis to teaching some of the very students he went to school with, discovering he had perfect pitch and how it gave him license to dream a musical career for himself. 

Boyer spoke of other obstacles he has endured because of autism, such as overcoming his fear of loud noises to attend concerts and guide his students to safety, using his support and knowledge to help others who have ASD themselves and the community to understand them. The two discussed the image that movies and television shine on people affected by ASD, like Rainman and The Good Doctor, and what it gets wrong and what it gets right. Check out the full episode here.

AI fans can find out more about Adin Boyer by following him on Instagram and Twitter or following him on American Idol. Follow Maurice Benard on TwitterInstagram, and TikTok. To follow State Of Mind and subscribe, go to YouTubeInstagram, and Twitter.

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