What it's like to be the parent of a child with a learning disability. The blog was created in 2005 and discusses anything to do with Down Syndrome

Friday, 11 November 2016

One for the dads

I've stumbled over an audio recording I made exactly ten years ago in November 2006. I interviewed fellow fathers about being the dad to a child with a learning disability. It never went to air...until now. As one dad says: "My son's special because he's a wonderful kid not because of the technical term."

Steve talks about this on his latest podcast 





I made the recording at the launch of a report by the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities – Recognising Fathers.  It discovered that some dads weren't given time off work for hospital appointments, some health staff ignored the dad – spoke through him, if you like - and talked only to the Mum - and the report alluded to a sense of desperation amongst some dads about how powerless and unsupported they felt. My testimony was included in the project. 

When you have a child with a learning disability – and as that child grows up it can be hard for the parents to cope. As far as men go the 2006 Recognising Fathers report was, I think, really important, because it identified that some dads do really struggle. I hope that men recognise that they’re not alone.