Tuesday, January 20, 2009

rex: an inspirational journey

Rex, by Cathleen Lewis, is one of those books you won't be able to put down. It is, as the subtitle states, the story of "a mother, her autistic child, and the music that transformed their lives."

Rex's story is truly amazing. A "multiply disabled" child, he is also a musical savant who can play any song on the piano after hearing it once. His musical gifts have helped forge inroads into the world around him, a world that was formerly inaccessible due to his blindness and autism. He has played concerts all around the world and has even been featured several times on 60 Minutes.

What astounded me most about this story was not Rex's abilities, though impressive; rather, I was amazed at the tenacity with which Cathleen fought for her son's rights. Whether hounding doctors for an accurate diagnosis, standing up to the piano teacher who saw Rex as more of a science project than a little boy, or confronting teachers and school officials about their treatment of her son, Cathleen poured all she had into her little boy. She is an inspirational woman, and her story, like Rex's, is one that will stick with you long after you finish reading this book.

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