Allow me to divert from adoption news and family updates and introduce you to one of the most remarkable individuals I will ever have the good fortune of meeting, Latron Dodd. Latron is an autistic 21 year old young man who can not speak, read, or write, but has the ability to sit behind a piano and captivate an audience.
I was introduced to Latron through a friend Betsey Nuseibeh, who first met Latron about 5 years ago while she was a teacher for the Cincinnati Public Schools. Betsey is a gifted musician and has found a calling through music therapy. At the time they met, Latron was a teenage boy that very few people understood, as he couldn't communicate, that was until Betsey introduced him to music. To her extreme surprise and delight, Latron took to the music without hesitation. Betsey sat with Latron in December of that year and taught him the basics of playing the piano. Christmas break came and went, and upon returning to school in January, Betsey was summoned to the cafeteria to witness the unthinkable, Latron was sitting at the piano playing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. He had gone home over the Christmas break and fallen in love with the ivory keys of a piano.
He is a savant. Not much unlike the character from Rain Man we all are probably familiar with. Latron, without being able to read music, learns the music through listening to it and can sit behind a piano and play in perfect pitch shortly afer being introduced to a song. Sitting at the table with him yesterday during lunch, you could get a sense that he was nervous or uncomfortable, as he was surrounded about about 200 people wearing suits and ties, but once we was behind the piano he couldn't have seemed more comfortable and in control. The transformation was nothing short of remarkable.
I can not do this young man justice through my writing, so please take the time to read the piece I have linked below.
Latron is an inspiration and a gift to those that meet him.