Lemke, Leslie

print
bookmark
comment
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
You may use the stars on the left to rate and leave feedback for the current article. No registration is required. Waiting for 5 votes 0.0 of 5 stars (0 votes) — Thanks for your vote

Please fill out the following optional information before submitting your rating:



Lemke was born prematurely in Milwaukee and placed for adoption at birth. While still in the hospital awaiting placement he was diagnosed with retrolental fibroplasia (caused by too much oxygen while in the premature incubator) and both his eyes had to be removed. At six months, with a gloomy medical prognosis, he was placed with a middle-aged married couple who already had raised five birth children. He was slow developing, and has been diagnosed as severely mentally retarded, with cerebral palsy, unable to care for himself or hold extended meaningful conversations.

But he has very remarkable musical abilities, and is able to play thousands of pieces, including entire concertos, after hearing them only once. He also has extraordinary abilities to remember speech, including entire days of conversations, word for word. He can play a number of instruments, improvises and composes, and also sings (including songs he has heard only once, even in foreign languages). His playing is mechanical and loud, but note-perfect. He loves performing and his adoptive family have encouraged him.

Since his parents died in 1987 and 1993 he has lived in Wisconsin with one of his sisters and plays concerts all over the world for charity and also to endow a trust fund for his future care if necessary.

References

Treffert, Darold A. Extraordinary People. (London: Bantam Press, 1989)
Treffert, Darold A. "An Inspirational Performance by Leslie Lemke." [Includes portrait]. Available at: http://www.wismed.com/foundation/lemke.htm

Indexes

European
USA
20th Century
21st Century
Music and Dance
Mental Handicaps, Learning Difficulties
Physical Handicaps
Formal, American/European-Type Adoption
Birth or Infancy
Others ("Strangers")
Adoptive/Foster Family Included Birth Child(ren)
Visitor Comments (0) - Be the first to comment
Adding your comments contributes to the adoption community. Please keep all comments on topic and civil. Visitors are invited to comment and vote for or flag comments based on appropriateness and helpfulness. All comments must adhere to our commenting rules and are subject to moderation.

To see local Adoption resources, please select a location (U.S. only):


Need a Home Study?
Adoption Photolisting
Unique (FL / 15 / F)
Unique is part of a sibling group of 2 and at this time they need to be adopted together. Unique has a sister, these girls are thick as thieves and we are not considering... [more]
Parent Profiles
Hello! We're a married, mixed race family hoping to adopt a new baby. All three of us are excited to continue building our family through open adoption. Our family is filled with... [more]
Directory of Adoption Professionals
Find a professional
for all of your adoption needs including:

Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.

Settings Help Feedback
Template Settings
Width: 1024     1280
Choose a Location:
Choose a Theme: