Now Or Never

Doctors said Alec would never speak. Now, he's recording a song for the first time

His Mom was told that he had autism and would be nonverbal. But now, Alec Baldwin is recording a song for the first time - and Now or Never was there.

Alec's first studio session

4 years ago
When he was two years old, doctors diagnosed Alec Baldwin with autism and told his Mom, Tanis, that he would be non-verbal. Now, Alec can not only speak - but has an incredible singing voice. We were there for his very first professional recording. 2:06

When he was two, Alec Baldwin was diagnosed with autism. His mother, Tanis, was told that he would be non-verbal — that the most he would be able to communicate would be to point at pictures in a book to tell her what he wanted. 

"I remember looking at the guy who told me that and thinking: No," said Tanis.

Even though she was given few supports, Tanis was determined to learn about autism and felt an urgent need to support her son in any way possible. In her research, she read that singing might help with speech development in children. 

So, every night, Tanis would sing a simple song to Alec at bedtime. She hoped he would chime in and join her. 

"We sang a little song that went: 'Mommy and daddy love Alec, mommy and daddy love Alec, mommy and daddy love Alec, mommy and daddy love—,' and I left the last word blank. Night after night I'd wait, and he didn't say it." 

Alec and Tanis Baldwin in the Winnipeg studio where he recorded his song. (CBC / Andrew Friesen)

"And then one day he said in this sweet little voice 'Alec'." 

That moment began years of work for Alec and Tanis, on both speech and singing. Now, as a young man, Alec is able to speak well. 

But he's able to sing even better. 

Now or Never was with Alec as he recorded a song for the very first time. Watch the video above to see the moment — and hear his incredible voice — for yourself. 

Alec and Tanis Baldwin talk with Now or Never host Ify Chiwetelu. (CBC / Andrew Friesen)


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