Friday 24 October 2014

Colin Farrell: Superstar Colin tells of 'blessed' life with special needs child

Published 15/10/2007 | 14:06

Colin Farrell with his son James. The actor has told how the four year old suffers from a rare form of cerebral palsy.

Hollywood superstar Colin Farrell yesterday opened his heart and revealed that his four-year-old son James is a special-needs child.

The renowned Irish actor revealed that his treasured son was born with a rare form of cerebral palsy called Angelman Syndrome.

In a moving interview, the actor described how the condition has affected his sons speech and mobility.

But despite the heartbreak the syndrome has caused he said that he is “incredibly blessed to have him in my life” and told of his joy when James recently took his first steps.

He said that his son had shown “amazing courage” in the first four years of his life and that he is an “incredibly happy boy” despite his condition.

Ironically Colin – who has joint custody of James with his mother Kim Bordenave – proudly led the Irish team to Croke Park for the Special Olympics before his son was born.

Colin – who has starred in such movies as Miami Vice and Phone Booth – said that James has “enriched” his life “incredibly.”

And he said that he is dedicated to helping his son reach his own “individual potential” and to be “as happy as he can be.”

”With my son the only time I'm reminded that there is something different about him – that he has some deviation of what is perceived to be normal – is when I see him with other four-year-olds.

“Then I go “oh yeah” and it comes back to me. But from day one I felt that he's the way he's meant to be.”

The actor spoke with pride about the barriers his son has overcome in the first four years of his life – and paid tribute to his exgirlfriend Kim for being proactive in getting James the early intervention he needs.

“He took his first steps about six weeks ago and it was four years in the making. All the work is his, he worked his arse off for four years.”

“And when he took the first steps it was incredibly emotional, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.”

He's broken that barrier and its all about building on that now.

Although Colin has been juggling a career in Hollywood since he first burst onto the scene in 2003, he is dedicated to spending as much time as possible with his son.

Little James has already met with his extended family in Dublin and even Colin's new girlfriend, Irish student Muireann McDonnell.

The irony of having a child with special needs – months after becoming involved in the Special Olympics and being faced with the same challenges – is not lost on the actor.

But, he is adamant that anyone who has a disability can still contribute to society and have a full and happy life.

“Its mad the way the world works. It's bizarre. I experienced the overwhelming effect of being around those athletes pretty much just before my son was born with special needs.

“I have never thought of my son as being someone with a disability. It goes back to special needs and what is a disability and what isn't”.

To read more about this Irish superstar, see our Topics page on Colin Farrell

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