John Sevier Austin, a North Carolina based video editor, has a very unusual superpower – his brain allows him to speak and sing backwards and is fluent in the unique “language”.
Even as a young boy, Austin knew he was a little different from most children his age. Try as he could, he never was the other kids, he could never be on the same page with them and that really messed his head growing up. It wasn’t until a few years ago that he found out that he had Asperger’s Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder on the autism spectrum that explained both his social awkwardness and his strange superpower – the ability to speak and sing backwards.
Photo: Backward Dude / Facebook
As a young boy engaged in gruesome taunting and commentary from his colleagues, John found refuge in music, and listening to records was one of his favorite pastimes. This is how he learned his ability to speak backwards. One day his turntable broke down and played records in reverse order. Just instead of fixing it, he started singing along to the backward-looking song.
One song was followed by another, then another, and before he knew it he could sing all the songs backwards and speak almost every word in the English language backwards. While other people would have been put off by the gibberish, John was amazed, it felt like he had discovered a whole new world.
“My brain is able to do all of these functions at once, and that’s what drives people crazy – in fact, it blows mine,” John said in an interview in 2019. “Until last year I never realized I was on the spectrum, but when they told me everything was right – especially my view of the past. “
Something about how Austin’s brain works enables him not only to speak backwards, but also to think and visualize backwards. When he realized how special his skills were, he learned to stop doubting himself and to accept himself for who he is.
“Don’t let anyone on the spectrum tell you that you are stupid or that there is nothing you can do,” he said. “When I talk backwards, I can just go out there and be myself – amazing people, how gifted my brain is. That’s the spectrum we like. We can do extraordinary things, so don’t let people pounce you. “
John has shown his unique skills on several television programs and talent shows over the years and now hosts his own YouTube channel where he can blow people away by singing and talking backwards.