Sunday 24 September 2017

Sir - As the father of a Down Syndrome son Michael, aged 24, my heart goes out to Brendan O'Connor and other parents of children with disabilities of various kinds.

Sir - As the father of a Down Syndrome son Michael, aged 24, my heart goes out to Brendan O'Connor and other parents of children with disabilities of various kinds.

We have been happy for Michael to stay in the special education sector, allowing him develop at his own pace. We did start him at a school for 'moderate' learning difficulties, only to see him arrive home aged six with perplexing pages of 'sums'. He would have made more sense of Sanskrit.

Eighteen years later he still possesses only a tangential relationship with numbers. In other respects he amazes and delights us. Moving him to a Special school obviated the need for him, as Brendan puts it, to be 'dragged along' by his more neuro-typical peers.

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