Breaking News
More () »

Phoenix's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Phoenix, Arizona | 12NEWS.com

Young Valley dancer with autism breaks barriers, lands big opportunity with Disney

"As time went on he kept dancing, more words started coming out of his mouth, like he started talking more," Gina said. "He just started engaging with people more."

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Despite odds stacked up against him, a Valley 8-year-old has found his voice through dance. 

His inspirational journey has now caught the attention of Disney, and Brendan Schroeder is breaking down stereotypes one step at a time. 

Each time Gina Schroeder calls her baby boy's name, and each time there's no response, you see Brendan has autism.

"You don't know what the future holds for your child," Schroeder said. 

"They can't tell you. You think about are they going to have friends, are they going to get to go to school, are they going to get to play any sports on a team?"

And life is definitely different, but not in a way Schroeder ever could've imagined.

"One time our dance studio owner Amber said, why don't you let him try the little petites class, the little 3-year-old class," Schroeder said. 

"And I looked at her and I was like, 'Have you lost your mind? There's no way, he will disrupt this whole class.'"

EN ESPAÑOL: Joven bailarín del Valle con autismo rompe barreras y consigue una gran oportunidad con Disney

But they gave it a try, and Brendan started to dance. He experienced a big break-through in the studio following years of extensive therapies.

"As time went on he kept dancing, more words started coming out of his mouth, like he started talking more," Schroeder said. "He just started engaging with people more."

Brendan started overcoming hardships and really shining on stage. 

"I like to dance and I like to spread my dance around the world," Brendan said. "Dancing has really helped me to show my autism and I just get to be myself."

Disney, hearing about Brendan's talent, placed his family on "Fam Jam." Brendan's mom Gina, grandpa Ed and sister Haley all dance on his team.

"I was thinking like, this is the best thing ever," Brendan said.

The show featured the Schroeders competing against another family team. 

While the winner is yet to be announced, parents from all over are reaching out on social media.

"I pull up Brendan's Instagram every day because I hope my kiddo can have the same outcome as Brendan," another parent told Schroeder through social media. 

"And I told him -- I said, 'This is the exact reason why we share your story,'" Schroeder said.

It's a story of a little boy who struggled to connect, and is still conquering therapy, but now flies, both on and off stage.

"The first time that he walked on stage as a 4-year-old, I'm on the side of the stage and he's out there smiling and living it up," Schroeder said. 

"And I'm crying my eyes out going, 'Oh my god, that is my kid that has autism. He is in a crowd, standing on a stage, living in the moment.'"

The episode of Disney's "Fam Jam" featuring Brendan and his family airs at 9 p.m. Monday on the Disney Channel. 

The family is competing for a chance to win $10,000.

MORE: Subscribe to 12 News on YouTube