Despite autism, sky's the limit for Reilly's son as he embarks on PhD
Published 12/06/2013 | 05:00
THE autistic son of Health Minister James Reilly has spoken of his struggles to overcome his disability throughout his education.
Jamie Reilly (26), who could not speak until the age of three and was assessed as having an IQ in the mentally handicapped range, has just completed his Masters in biotechnology in Queen's University in Belfast.
He will begin a PhD in genetics at NUI Galway in September.
Speaking during an international conference on autism at the Galway university, the young academic urged people not to set limits for their children.
Jamie, from Rush in north Dublin, was diagnosed with autism at three.
At that stage he didn't speak and showed signs of repetitive behaviour.
However, he revealed it was difficult to get a diagnosis because "there was a reluctance to give it a label".
He told of his difficulties in overcoming certain aspects of his condition, including an obsession with water from the age of 18 months which led to him flooding the family home on occasions.