One of our staff says that the book, Rex: A mother, her autistic child and the music that transformed their lives by Cathleen Lewis , is the best book she’s ever read about life with a disability.
Rex was born blind and before he was two years old, he was diagnosed with autism. His mother, Cathleen, clearly describes her emotions as she advocates for her son’s education and therapies, and deals with his disabilities like being unable to talk or walk. His father gave him a keyboard for his second birthday, and music became his learning tool. When Rex sat down at the keyboard and played Beethoven’s Ode To Joy, his parents discovered his extraordinary gift.
Leslie Stahl, a Sixty Minutes correspondent wrote after interviewing Rex some years later, “The human mind – so mystifying in its capacity to accommodate both disability and genius in the same person”.
The story documents the relationship between a loving mother and her child, the times of despair and euphoria, and the people who come into their lives.