Autistic Boy Can Identify 200 Woodstock Chimes By Sound
Tyler Doi, who suffers from autism spectrum disorder, has a very special gift. Watch him identify Woodstock Chimes by sound
Woodstock Chimes are very popular, but perhaps no one loves them more than Tyler Doi (pictured above), a nine-year-old diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Even Woodstock Chimes’ founder and owner, Garry Kvistad, can’t quite match Tyler’s enthusiasm.
Tyler has been thinking about wind chimes pretty much non-stop since the age of three. “It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to steer him away from one area of focus into another,” says his father, Sean Doi, who says that he and his wife first noticed signs of autism when Tyler was one year old. “One of the things that he was not doing was simple waving ‘hi’ and waving ‘bye,’” says Doi. The family lives near Toronto, Canada, and looking for wind chimes while driving became a popular pastime after seeing one during a search for bird feeders, a previous interest of Tyler’s.
Tyler’s personal collection of wind chimes is around 100, many given as rewards for performance in school. And he has a special gift: the remarkable ability to name any of the 200 Woodstock Chimes simply by hearing its sound.
It’s not unusual for autistic children to develop an obsessive interest in an object or idea. “Even though we tried to redirect him to something else, he’d continue to research it, continue to talk about it,” says his mother, Alison. “So it became part of our conversation with him.”
When Tyler was six years old, the family contacted Woodstock Chimes and they ultimately made the first of many road trips to visit the company, located on Route 28 near Shokan.
As the relationship with Tyler deepened, Kvistad was inspired to create a special chime, with 100 percent of the after-tax profits to autism treatment programs and research. “Woodstock Chimes For Autism” is tuned to the soothing tones of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, and the hanging windcatcher is decorated with the multi-colored puzzle piece that symbolizes autism.
To get the word out, Kvistad developed “Chimes For Autism: Tyler’s Story,” a beautifully produced, moving video that has been viewed more than 140,000 times. It culminates in a challenge where Tyler goes up against Garry and handily proves his ability to name that chime — “Java! Neptune! Space Odyssey!” — even as Garry tries to stump him. You can watch the video below (and visit www.chimes.com/autism to purchase the $56 chimes):