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This Heartfelt Music Video Honors Our Beautiful Special Needs Families

Courtney Cotter King has been playing piano by ear since she was three years old. This led to songwriting. She is an indie artist infusing jazz, classical and folk into her piano driven melodies. She released her first album "My Happy" and a Christmas single "I believe in Santa Clause" in 2010. She has released two albums, "Home I Roam," in 2011 and "Rooftops" with Fervor Records in 2013. 

We asked Courtney Cotter King what inspired her song, "For The Better", and this is what she said: 



When I sit down to write a song it needs to be alive in my heart, yet transcend beyond me to mean something to a wide audience. That is why earlier this year when I gave fans an opportunity to choose a song idea, I fell in love with the submission by Joye Drage. She told me of her unforgettable brother with Down Syndrome, Dan Patrick Downey. He passed away with a legacy of love and she wanted a song written about his extraordinary life here on earth. 

I read the recordings of his funeral and blog posts from his family to get to know him. As I started writing down ideas of lovable Dan, my thoughts were also turned to my friends and family members with special needs and what all these unique individuals have in common. Everyone I have ever known with special needs is REAL. They have a pure heart with perfect sincerity, influencing the lyrics, "your heart is a light switch to your smile". These people have "no guile" and "they show us more to life". 

We need special needs individuals in our lives to help round our rough edges. They teach us how to treat people with a light that can not be dimmed. My lovely cousin April has two little boys with autism, Rocco and Apollo Antanasio. They fill her days with adventure, challenges and love. They are both brilliant in different ways and are secure in who they are.

In the video, Rocco has glasses and is holding hands with his twin brother Roman on the carousel. Apollo is the boy playing tug-o-war with his dog. All others in the video are family and friends of mine that submitted videos. Over the years, these kids have had a good foundation because of the love that their families have had for them. This song is also for the families involved who continue to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and do anything for the angel in their life.

They all know that their very special loved one has changed them, as they have me, "for the better".

Read more about Courtney on her Facebook page, and you can buy the single, "For the Better," on iTunes here.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.