A 13-year-old boy with autism is to perform in front of 600 people on Sunday when he appears at the Mermaid Theatre, London in a talent show for people with the condition.
With Eddie Dancer at Autism’s Got Talent will be his autism assistance dog Harmony and his mum and accompanist, Beverly.
Eddie, from Croughton, will perform alongside many other talented artists including singers, dancers, drummers, a magician and a harpist from the UK and from countries including Sweden, Croatia, the USA and Canada.
Harmony, from charity Dogs for Good, has been at Eddie’s side since 2010, helping him improve his school work, giving him confidence to take music exams and compete alongside school friends in sports events. He also attends the beginner English Symphony Orchestra with the assistance of his teacher Noriko Tsuzaki, helping him to learn to play in a group.
“Eddie never completed a race at sports day due to having outbursts but the year Harmony arrived he finished all his races,” said Mrs Dancer.
Harmony accompanied Eddie to an interschool cross country event where he was expected to run a mile in the cold with over 100 others, which previously would have been out of the question.
“There is a lot of judging by people and no matter how tough you are it’s very hard to take. Eddie looks like any other boy so people used to assume he was just badly behaved,” said Mrs Dancer.
“But with Harmony by his side, people immediately see there is more to it. Instead of judging now, most people want to help. I can’t tell you what a difference that makes.”