Sitting behind his drum kit, 10-year-old Alfie Anderson from Great Cornard does not have a care in the world.
He happily hits out a tune and imagines he is his idol Tré Cool – the drummer from American rock band Green Day. And although Alfie plays for fun, he is also rather good.
Despite only taking up drumming just over a year ago, the Wells Hall Primary School youngster has displayed enough musical ability to earn a starring role in a national talent competition.
This prowess is not the only remarkable thing about Alfie – he also has Asperger syndrome.
“He has always been drumming and tapping away with pens and pencils since he was small, but he didn’t start properly until about a year-and-a-half ago,” said mum Tracey Anderson, from Sheepshead Hill.
“It is a good way to get his aggression out.”
Alfie’s condition is a form of autism and is often referred to as a social disorder.
Sufferers often experience difficulties with communication and can struggle making friends and with changes to their routine.
Alfie, who has a seven-year-old brother Travis, was diagnosed when he was four years old.
“I always felt he was a bit different and it was when I was pregnant with Travis that I found out,” said Tracey.
“I could see how different he was to other children with simple things like going to the supermarket.”
But the schoolboy is not letting his condition hold him back and, after his godmother, Donna Holland, spotted details of Autism’s Got Talent on the internet, wasted no time sending off an audition video.
“I knew how good Alfie was and thought there was nothing to lose,” said Donna, 38, from Lionel Hurst Close.
Within a few weeks, Alfie found out he had been chosen to perform a five-minute slot at the Mermaid Theatre in London, along with 20 other talented autism sufferers from around the world.
“I was ecstatic when I heard and so happy for him because he does have his struggles,” said Tracey.
“Making friends can be hard and new environments, as well as maintaining concentration levels.
“But drumming is what makes him happy and it is great to have something where he can be like everyone else.”
Alfie is now preparing to showcase his skills in front of an audience of 600 people on May 10.
“He has performed to 50 people before and was very pale and nervous, but once he got on stage he was completely different and very cool,” added Tracey.