Cool Kid Laurent Chang uses music to help those with special needs

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This week's ABC7 Cool Kid is Laurent Chang, who uses music to reach out to those who may feel isolated. (KABC)

This week's ABC7 Cool Kid is Laurent Chang, who uses music to reach out to those who may feel isolated.

Twice a month, the 14-year-old's non-profit organization called Music Heals SoCal organizes music events where his guests of honor get to participate by playing drums or other percussion instruments.

Through the nonprofit Wallbangers, Laurent works with senior citizen groups and also with children on the autism spectrum.

"Everyone has some sort of rhythm inside of them and then just pulling that out and getting everyone to come together and play together is very important," Laurent said.

Laurent's non-profit helps to develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination for children on the autism spectrum.

Laurent, who is the drum line captain at his high school, said he first came up with the idea after playing the drums with his cousin who has autism.

"I played a very simple beat and then he copied that beat and then I played another one and he copied it," Laurent explained. "So then I was like OK, this works for us, so I thought this could also work for more people."

The response Laurent has received from parents has motivated him to keep doing more.

"We had a parent," Laurent said. "She was in tears. She said that it was the first time her son has ever been engaged in something for more than 5 minutes for 10 years."

The Studio City teenager has recruited other students and music lovers who have heard of the non-profit.

Laurent hoped to grow his orchestra and reach out to a larger special needs and elderly audience.

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Related Topics:
societycool kidsmusicvolunteerismnon-profitcommunity serviceautismspecial needs childrenStudio CityLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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