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      Sharyland teen with Autism composes music

      Sam Martinez is in the 8th grade at B.L Gray Junior High in Sharyland.

      You could say he's addicted to music.

      In 6th grade, Sam joined the school band and immediately showed an interest in doing more than just playing the tunes.

      I like to write music, said Sam.

      "He came to me and said Mr. Sanchez we're gonna be playing solos at the end of the year. Can I write an original piece and play it?," said Victor Sanchez, Sam TMs band instructor.

      The idea was music to everyone's ears since the boy who couldn't even speak until he was 5 years old had become a composer as a pre-teen.

      He TMs pretty confident about what he can do with his talent.

      "I TMm going to be the next Mozart," said Sam.

      Sam not only has a special gift in composing music, he has autism, more specifically Asperger's which is defined as a disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.

      Well he certainly shows a great interest in making music, he TMs already composed several original songs.

      Sanchez says the band plans to play the music, but Sam composes for orchestras so he'll have to simplify it.

      "Some of the things he composes can be played by a professional group so it's a little harder than what the students are able to read," said Sanchez.

      Sam is only taking one social skills class with one other autistic student.

      The rest of his classes are with the other 8th graders, in fact, he's already getting high school credit.

      In his own way, Sam is teaching others about Asperger's and that just because he's autistic doesn't mean he's not just like you and I.

      "Educate yourself, said Sam, and remember that if they have Asperger's or Autism, it doesn't mean they can't do the same. Just look at Mozart, Einstein, Newton, Thomas Jefferson."

      Actually, Sam doesn't consider himself to be a normal guy.

      He's a teen who pretty much can do a lot more musically than a lot of other kids his age and even some adults.