Autistic man’s inspiring, musical gift

Little Derek, after birth
Little Derek, after birth

He was born after developing in the womb for only 6 months. Derek Paravicini, like other Autistic people, struggles with communicating. Due to the oxygen therapy necessitated by his premature birth, Derek is also blind. To a utilitarian world, Derek would have been useless; unable to be a ‘productive’ member of society.

It seems that Derek’s dreams far exceeded anyone’s expectations for him.

Derek grew up in a home filled with music, and at 4 years old he taught himself piano. As his mentor explains in the TED talk below, by age 11 Derek could easily play Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s notorious “Flight of the Bumblebee”… which he learned by ear. Now, he travels the world performing audience-interactive concerts. He inspires me to remember that every human life is a gift.

I often wish that we members of the “pro-life” movement would do better at highlighting inspiring stories like Derek’s. Let’s inspire others to uphold the dignity of every human life. Let’s inspire each other to see everyone’s life as precious and irreplaceable.


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