PHOENIX - A Valley organization that works with hundreds of people with developmental disabilities has a new therapy program that comes from the heart of a former rock n' roll drummer.
Drummer Eddie Tuduri has played in countless bands over the decades including the Beach Boys and with Ike Turner.
He was paralyzed in a body surfing accident 17 years ago. After his miracle recovery, he changed his focus.
"I thank God for my broken neck everyday," he said.
Tuduri developed a drum therapy program several years ago and has taken it worldwide. He uses the program with adults and kids with developmental differences and in doing so has found a new passion.
"When is the last time you initiate conversation with someone who has Down Syndrome or some kind of disability?," he asked. "They are a precious part of the population who have no agenda. They simply want to belong."
His program really isn't about music he explained.
"There really isn't anything melodic about it," he said. He uses the drums to help the patients connect motor and cognitive skills.
"It is amazing," he smiled. "We've seen people speak for the first time after using the therapy."
In a series of sessions, he taught his program to staff members at Valleylife to use in their therapy programs.
"Playing for a crowd of 150,000 is indescribable," he said. "But when you see a smile on the face of someone who maybe has Down Syndrome...it doesn't compare."
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