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Rex: A Mother, Her Autistic Child, and the Music that Transformed Their Lives

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    Very Enjoyable Reading!

    Very inspiring story!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2011


    Excellent, heart warming story that touches one with the struggles people go through with a child with a disability. Through it all, the purpose of his life comes through.

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  • Posted January 5, 2011


    How awesome are our minds! This was a wonderful book written by a Mother who would not give up. She deserves a halo. Where did she get the energy to work with her son 24/7.

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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Rex by Cathleen Lewis

    What a wonderful book. I am studying to be a special education teacher and I found this book to be such an inspiration. This book reminds the reader that all children have the capability to be phenomenal, even if there is a disability or health problem evident in their life. Hope resonates throughout Lewis' book as she tells this story of her son and their family that will move you to tears through some parts of the book! She used the platform she provided for Rex to be an example for all parents who have sometimes lost sight of the wonderful abilities and talents of their children. This is one of the few books that I have read that acurately and inspiringly tell the story of a child with autism. I loved how Cathleen Lewis tied in her belief in God and how that played a part in the way she adjusted to the news of her son and the hope she had. She appropriately advocated for her son to teachers, peers, and those who held doubt. I would definetly recommend this book to any parent of a child who has special needs!

    The only problem I had with this book is the cover. It states, "A mother, her autistic child, and the music that transformed their lives." I did not like this as it does not use people-first language. When you say "autistic child" you are putting the label in front of the child. I believe it would have been more appropriate to say, "her child with autism." This description would put the child first, which is a much more positive label.

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  • Posted January 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "Rex" by Cathleen Lewis

    I was drawn to this particular book because our daughter-in-law is an educator and works with children with special needs. In reading this book I thought that it might bring me a little more insight into her work and her gift that she brings to the children and they to her.<BR/><BR/>¿Rex¿ is a fascinating story about a mother, her autistic child and his amazing gift of music that totally changed their lives. Upon hearing that her son was born blind a young mother and father¿s lives fell apart, wondering what lie ahead for them. Their child could not see,talk, walk, and was soon to be diagnosed as autistic. I wasn¿t too far into the book before my heart went out to this young mother when because of the difficulties of raising a multidisabled child was too much for her husband and he proceeds to leave her and his son, soon filing for divorce. Cathleen Lewis displays an amazing amount of strength but begins to question God, asking why would He ever put this burden on an innocent child and wondering how would her child ever connect with the world. It was when her son was given a keyboard for his second birthday that she was shown the gift given to her son. His autistic behavior all but disappeared when he sat before that keyboard, which calmed him and became his lifeline to a somewhat normal life. It was a transformation that would affect their lives.<BR/><BR/>As Cathleen Lewis sat one particular night, after a harrowing day, watching her son sleep she was struck by the calmness of his breathing, the peaceful sound of the waves rippling on the shore outside of their home, the sound of a seagull crying in the breeze she noticed the moonlight reflecting upon his beautiful and peaceful face. He rested and slept as any normal 2 year old would. It was at that time that ¿against all odds, my mind was taking refuge, finding rest even in the one absolute in our lives-the love that I felt for my son, sustaining me now in the darkest hour, by what I knew could only be the grace of God.<BR/><BR/>This book truly is an inspiration to all that may have children with special needs. Cathleen Lewis is bound and determined that her child is going to live the life of ¿normal¿ child and in my eyes she has succeeded! The relationship between her and her child was one of learning on both sides for we all have so much to learn from our children, especially those with special needs. Her faith in God was strengthened by this most wonderful and precious gift given to her. We truly never know what path we are being led down and what is in store for our lives, but most certainly God does have a plan for all of us.

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  • Posted January 14, 2009


    I was not expecting to enjoy Rex as much as I did. In fact, I was only anticipating using it as reading while I wait for my car to have its oil changed (after all, it is only 237 pages long). But even after my oil change was finished early, I still couldn¿t put down the book.<BR/><BR/>The worst part was wanting more, wanting to see where this little boy goes in his life and only realizing at the end that he¿s still just a young boy, still with many years ahead of him. Throughout the book, Cathleen Lewis¿ raw emotions were very apparent; his mother¿s account of her feelings, her hope, and her frustrations are touching and understandable. That is probably the best part of the book: the way in which we, the audience, are made to empathize with Lewis and hope for the best for her little boy. The book was very marvelously written in the fact that the wave of emotions ebbs and flows, building up one moment and then releasing the next. The little bits of joy found in a life that seemingly appeared hopeless gave this book power and joy.<BR/><BR/>The author touches on her experiences with God and, although not numerous in their mentioning, some of them were touching. However, most of the experiences did seem somewhat contrived, especially as her battle with God progressed; likewise, the role her brother played in her hope and love toward God was seemingly forgettable. The church played merely as a backdrop to Lewis¿ battle with God and with her own hopelessness and pride. The spiritual role played in her son¿s life, although not as prominent, was far more touching. All in all, it is an unforgettable story about an unforgettable little boy who had all of life¿s worse thrown at him and we are privy to seeing how he and his mother have overcome these struggles through both their own determination and through the grace of God.

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  • Posted January 12, 2009

    An Inspiring Story of Hope and Faith

    I just finished reading Rex by Cathleen Lewis. This story weaves a powerful story of hope and inspiration written from a mother's perspective. Lewis tells her story as mother, friend, and advocate to her son Rex. Rex suffers from multiple disabilities, including blindness and autism. These disabilities are extremely taxing on both child and parent, but the severity of his handicaps and the non-textbook nature of his conditions, cause months and years of frustration and angst on Lewis. Her story outlines her struggle to not only understand her son's many intricacies, but advocate on his behalf in the face of doctors, peers, teachers, and society.<BR/><BR/>Lewis relies on her faith in God to sustain her through the challenges of raising her son, but sees God's amazing work as Rex connects to himself, his mother, and the world through music. Rex is drawn to the keys of a piano and becomes a musical savant. His talent is overwhelming and almost unexplainable. <BR/><BR/>Rex is inspirational and serves as a great reminder of the power of faith. It is moving to see the love and strength of this mother as she does what seems miraculous, but she just views as normal. This story was intriguing to me and am anxious to follow the story of this real life hero, Rex.

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  • Posted January 8, 2009

    Rex is a touching true story.

    Rex by Cathleen Lewis is the ultimate story of God's grace. It is chock full of personal stories from a mother's perspective, stories that will make you laugh and cry, and these stories tell about Rex. Rex is a boy born with some severe disabilities, and with some amazing talent. Rex is autistic and blind. He is also a musical prodigy. A Savant. Cathleen Lewis takes you on a journey with her and Rex as they conquer his disabilities and together learn about living a ¿normal¿ life and most importantly about trusting in God. It is both heartwrenching and joyful. I started reading with the notion that it wouldn't be very good. It was classified as Business and Culture. It turned out to be a wonderful book, reminding me constantly that God is there, ever faithful to sustain me through the toughest of times. Though at times the language was a tad redundant and sometimes moved slowly, it was on the whole encouraging and very well written. While it was told in story form it was also informative and gave insight into the struggles of parents with special needs children. Throughout this book I was impressed by the courage of both mother and son and encouraged by both of their spirits which refused to be held back.

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  • Posted January 7, 2009

    Story of an Amazing mom and unrelenting determination

    Let me start by saying that I enjoyed reading "Rex." It was a fascinating look into the "real" side of disabilities. The problem that I had is that the book cover states..."A Mother, Her Autistic Child, and the Music that Transformed Their Lives." While this book is indeed about a mother and her child, who happens to be autistic, it is also so much more than that! <BR/>Cathleen Lewis chronicles the real, raw emotions that any mother, who learns her child needs major surgery at a few days old, is blind and also exhibits autistic behaviors would experience. I felt was she was feeling when reading "Rex." <BR/>Rex is also the story of a mother who refused to give up, refused to back down, dug her heels in and made certain that her son would have the best life, the most enjoyable life that he could. <BR/>Rex is the story of a mother who learns to have faith, embrace faith, and like all mothers, learns that it's okay to let go, so that her son can soar...down a steep driveway, across piano keys as the musical savant that he is, bombing down a mountain on skis, on surfboard catching a waves. <BR/>Hats off to you, Cathleen Lewis, and your son, Rex.

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    Posted January 7, 2011

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