Following the release of soul singer Bilal's 2010 album, Airtight's Revenge, autism science and advocacy organization Autism Speaks caught wind of the set's track "Little One," based loosely on the artist's 9-year-old son who struggles with the disorder.
"The people from Autism Speaks really took to it and last year I went down to Washington, D.C., and sang it at [a charity] walk," Bilal says. "Ever since then, we've been in connection with each other."
The relationship has led to a partnership with Bilal's current U.S. tour, where the singer meets parents in select cities to discuss the challenges of having an autistic child.
"As a parent with a child with autism, it's cool to talk to other parents, because with autism being such a new type of diagnosis not a lot of doctors really have a concrete way to deal with those children," he says. "There's a large spectrum of autism; some kids are very hyper and some are very introverted. So it's cool to talk to different parents and hear their methods."
During the tour, which ends Sept. 16 at B.B. King's in New York, Autism Speaks representatives will be on hand giving out T-shirts and pamphlets about the organization.