com NAVARRE - Upset by the bullying of his autistic daughter, Paul Therrell turned to one of his ways of expression: music. Eight years later, the song "You're My Star," has begun to receive more attention.
In 2011, Therrell and his daughter, Ciara, made a music video for the song, which was named the Best Music Video for October by The Academia Music Awards. "Well-chosen visuals, including actual family photos and video, give this heartfelt song even more emotional impact," Academia said on its page of the music video.
There's a growing sensitivity toward bullying and people with special needs, Therrell said. The song's lyrics touch on the continued need for more under-standing as well as the obstacles Ciara has over-come. "The song is a true story," he said. Ciara suffered from a heart defect at birth that caused mental disabilities.
As a child, she was excluded from her church's Christmas play because she couldn't follow along with the routine. The final straw came when a misunderstanding at the mall ended with other children and parents mimicking and making fun of Ciara.
Therrell wrote her song that night.
"This is my nugget song just because this is in my heart," he said. Ciara and Therrell have performed the song together several times. She recognizes it as her own. "Whenever she sings it there's pride," Therrell said.
He now is meeting with music publicists to get the song onto the national stage. He wants its mes-sage to be heard. "People with special needs matter," he said. "They're counted and loved and cherished."
Lauren Delgado writes for the Northwest Florida Daily News