MILOSZ GASIOR – DEFYING AUTISM WITH MUSIC
How do you define talent? By the near-perfect performance of a pianist? Or by the effort that is put forth to achieve that special sound?
Milosz is a 20-year-old autistic musician diagnosed with moderate to severe autism when he was two and a half years old. He did not utter a word until he was three years old. Although Milosz continues with his speech therapy, he struggles with his speech and comprehension, which negatively impacts any social interactions. Milosz requires one on one assistance to be able to participate in any activity at school and at home.
Imagine being told that your two-year-old has moderate to severe autism. Imagine being told by a school psychologist that your five-year-old’s IQ is zero. Now imagine looking at your 20-year-old playing the piano in front of audiences – Chopin, Mozart, or Bach – but still not being able to choose his socks. Milosz’s achievements on the piano are exceptional – all due to his hard work and unwavering support from his family and the Polish-American community where he is a frequent performing artist.
Our mission is to increase Milosz’s visibility and provide support so that he is able to meet his challenges and ensure his own success. At the same time, we want to highlight Milosz’s story to increase autism awareness among Polish-Americans and to provide encouragement to many other families who are challenged with raising an autistic child. If you would like to invite him to play at one of your events, please contact his mother, Bozena Gasior at email@example.com
Autism is characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects about 1 in 54 children in the United States today.
Because of Milosz’s disability, Milosz is often lonely. Fortunately, he thrives on following a routine, and music seems to be an organized world for Milosz in which he finds refuge. His adventure with the piano started in the fourth grade where he found his passion, the piano, and music. He has been fervently practicing piano ever since and loves to play energetically for about 4 hours each day while also taking private piano lessons.
Milosz Made History!
He is the recipient of the Dr. Cody Clark Thelo Award. Milosz made history graduating as the first Piano Major with autism in the school’s 35- year-old history.
“To quote Derek Weston, PCCA (Pinellas County Center for the Arts) Program Director: Students nominated for this award use their artistic strengths to empower them to overcome challenges or obstacles in life. Personal trials are often kept from public recognition and are the privileged information of counselors, administrators, family members, and the most intimate of companions. ….This year’s recipient is one of the most unique and remarkable musicians who has ever attended our program. His presence on our campus has made us all better educators, and it is an absolute joy to see how far he has come in his four years in our program. He has inspired his fellow students, teachers, and anyone who has heard him perform. This year’s Dr. Cody Clark Thelo Award goes to none other than Milosz Gasior.”
He welcomed tourists with his performances at the Tampa International Airport during the holidays, CBS channel 10 featured Milosz; Channels 9 and 13 in Tampa are preparing news segments about him. It speaks so much about our Polish Community that continues to support him.
His parents moved to the United States in 2001, where Milosz was born. His father is a software engineer at SCC and his mother is an adjunct professor at St. Pete College. He has an older brother.
Two great organizations have changed his life in a profound way- Canine Companions for Independence, an organization that gave him his service dog, Daria, and BAKAS Equestrian Center where Milosz has been horseback riding for many years.
If you would like to network, reach out, or simply offer support to this very special young man, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com