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15-year-old autistic boy wows audiences on Las Vegas Strip

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

15-year-old autistic boy wows audiences on Las Vegas Strip

By Beth Fisher. CREATED Nov 27, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Meet Israel Liven. About once a month, he entertains crowds on Las Vegas Strip. In just two hours, this remarkably talented 15-year-old typically earns about $40.

But what Israel's audience doesn't know is that he is autistic. He was diagnosed before the age of two.

The way we heard about Israel is a story in itself. A homeless man named Eddie heard Israel play on the boulevard. While he was washing the windshield of a local attorney, he told that lawyer about Israel. Curious, Keith Galliher invited Israel and his mom to his law office. And that's where we first met him too.

Israel's fingers fly across the keys and the smile never leaves his face when he's performing.

Israel is just plain love-able and incredibly gifted. He plays 7 instruments and is learning to speak 8 languages.

Even though Israel was writing English before the age of two, he wasn't speaking. That's when a doctor diagnosed him with Autism.

But what Israel wants to be is a musician. He'd rather be playing than talking.

And Keith Galliher like everyone who hears Israel play was blown away by his talent.

Keith Galliher: "I think he's an amazing young man and a credit to the community."
Beth Fisher: "Israel, have you ever been to the Smith Center?
Israel: "you mean the one that sells groceries?
Beth: "No, that's Smith's grocery store. The Smith Center is this exquisite theater they built in Las Vegas."

So, we called the Smith Center and a few days later, President and CEO Myron Martin gave Israel the opportunity of a lifetime. A chance to play the Smith Center.

And Israel was right at home on a world-class stage in a world-class city.

Martin: "How great is it to expose our kids to a place where the arts can thrive. But maybe it can inspire someone like Israel to play even more and play even better."

And perhaps inspire this only child and his mother to never give up on their dreams.

Israel is a student at the Las Vegas Academy where students dream of performing at a place like this. Israel's father is not in the picture. It's just him and mom. And the kindness of a lawyer. Mr. Galliher has taken the two under his wing and tries to help as he can. Israel's dream is to one day perform for the President and show the world what a boy with Autism is capable of.

Beth Fisher

Beth Fisher

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Beth Fisher is an anchor for Good Morning Las Vegas and reports on the positive news in Las Vegas.