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The Incredible Story of a Once-Nonverbal Boy Who Grew Up to Be the REAL Pinball Wizard

It’s hard to imagine being one of the world’s best at anything, but for Robert Gagno, that’s a reality; he’s the sixth best pinball player on the planet.

Gagno was diagnosed with autism and a mild intellectual disability at age three and was nonverbal until age seven. But that didn’t stop him from picking up pinball at age four or five…and becoming a master at it. (That’s right, all you fans of The Who out there; he’s the real pinball wizard!)

In addition to being an intense interest and something he dearly loves, pinball is also a way for him to get social interaction, particularly at pinball tournaments. He gets to talk to people who are just as interested in the game as he is.

Now his story is being turned into a full-length documentary that will be released next year. This video offers a sneak peek.

Around the eight minute mark, Gagno offers some sage advice about achieving life’s dreams.

Check it out!

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A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.