Book Review: Rex

Rex, A mother, her autistic child, and the music that transformed their lives

by Cathleen Lewis, publisher Thomas Nelson

Not only was Rex born autistic, but he also was blind. How heartbreaking for parents expecting their first child. Like what happens so often, Rex’s father couldn’t accept his son’s handicaps and stepped away from the marriage--and his son.

Anyone who has seen Rex on TV with Lesley Stahl knows that this blind, autistic boy has an amazing musical talent. What this book chronicles is the struggle Rex’s mother went through to first understand her son so that she could help him, her battles with the teachers and schools who were supposed to teach him, her astonishment at the extremes of her son’s musical ability, her faith and sometimes lack of faith in God.

At one time I was a teacher in a pre-school for children with developmental disabilities, and through the years we had several autistic children as students. It definitely takes patience and understanding to work with these kids. The secret is trying lots of things to see what works–and never giving up. Cathleen Lewis never gave up on Rex, nor would she let anyone else.

This is a book about a remarkable mother and even more remarkable child. I recommend it to everyone and most especially to parents of children with special needs.

Marilyn, who is so glad I took the time to read this book.

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