(LifeSiteNews) — To kick off Down Syndrome awareness month, one country artist released a song about his youngest brother as an encouraging witness to parents expecting babies with the condition.
John Paul Von Arx, a singer-songwriter who grew up in Illinois and now works as the Coordinator of Worship at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, wrote “He’s Different” about his brother Sam, who has Down syndrome. The song’s official music video was intentionally released on October 1 as a message of hope and shows the beautiful gift of children with special needs.
“When I was 14, my mom told me that she was pregnant with him,” the song begins. “She and my dad were worried because the new life inside was different.”
Recalling the day Sam was born, Von Arx continues with the first chorus:
“Oh, he’s different, different than me
Oh, he’s peaceful, peaceful and free
Different than who I thought he would be
That night I learned that my brother is more than he seems”
The second verse acknowledges that while Sam “might not ever be at the top of his class” and “may not be fast,” he would instead “take his sweet time and enjoy his whole life.” Even when people “stop and stare” upon first meeting him, his brother sings, “he doesn’t ever see them any different.”
During the bridge, Von Arx reflects on how he’s “thankful that my little brother is different than me” for showing him that “the little things matter in life, more than they seem.”
“I believe that who he is, is more than I’ll ever be,” the song concludes. “’Cause my little brother can love more than he seems.”
Von Arx, who began playing guitar at age 11 and composing original songs at 15, explained on his website that he originally made the music video for “He’s Different” in 2018 but “[has] been waiting for the right time to release it.”
“My goal is to give hope to parents expecting a baby with Down syndrome and solidarity with families of people with special needs, as well as to combat and eliminate the stigma often associated with children who have special needs,” he said.
Von Arx described his brother Sam as “one of the funniest, most loving and joyful people you will ever meet,” citing his intention to share the reality that these characteristics of special needs children outweighs the challenges and fears of their conditions.
More information about Von Arx and his music can be found on his website.