Amazed and Grateful

This post originally appeared in Autism Tennessee’s May 12th Blog Amazed and Grateful.  To learn more about Autism Tennessee, visit their website: autismtn.org 

Bluebird 2015 Breaking The Chains 2015

This May, 2016, we celebrated the fifteenth annual Breaking The Chains Autism Benefit at the Bluebird Café’.

When I tell people that songwriting is my therapy, I’m not kidding. Musically journaling our family’s walk through autism, creating awareness, and encouraging others has been a way for me to heal the hurt.

Our family had been looking for answers for a while, looking for a community who really understood what we were going through. When we found Autism Tennessee, we found that community. We wanted to do something to show how thankful we were for all of the support Autism Tennessee has given us. It just seemed natural to bring the two things together that brought healing to our family.

I’m still amazed, and very grateful, for how the opportunity came to make this happen. I had played the Bluebird Café, and experienced first-hand what a great listening venue it is for the audience and the songwriter. Later, while performing at a songwriting festival along the coast, I ran into Barbara Cloyd. She booked their early round writers, at that time. I had written a song for Morgan, called “Help Me Break Those Chains”. Barbara and I were talking about Morgan, the song, and Autism Tennessee. I don’t even know what made me bold enough to ask if we could hold an awareness event for the community there. Barbara said yes! After I picked myself up off the floor, I thanked her and started making plans.

Bluebird 09 Morgan and mom A blast from the past, 2009 Breaking The Chains


Over the years, thanks to Amy Kurland, it evolved into two rounds. When Amy passed the ownership of the Bluebird to NSAI, they have graciously continued to allow us to hold the event there each year. My greatest joy is now being able to include Morgan as a co-host. Spotlighting the musical gifts of Logan Blade, a young on the autism spectrum, has also been a sweet experience. I can’t tell you how much it means to our family to have the opportunity to encourage others and celebrate the gifts of autism. We get to give a little bit back to the community that has given us so much. So I’ll repeat, I’m just amazed and grateful. “Music takes us where words cannot.” Tammy Vice – Know The Hope, Inc.


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