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Saturday 21 October 2017

Farrell reveals battle to find school for his special needs son (7)

Colin Farrell has opened up about coping as dad to a special needs child.

Seven-year old James, the star's son with Kim Bordenave, was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome before he was one.

The actor, who is notoriously protective of his children, has now revealed the difficulties he faced when trying to find an appropriate school in LA.

Although Castleknock native Colin has shied away from the limelight in recent years, he was surprisingly candid when speaking about his struggles.

"We found a class that was a special needs class within a typical mainstream school. James' class had eight or 10 students of various degrees of disability and all had different conditions," he told the Tubridy Show.

"There was a couple of kids with Down syndrome and cerebral palsy and James has Angelman Syndrome.



Ignorance

"All these conditions are delicate things and there is a very specific treatment for each condition and yet all these kids were barrelled together.

"I would go in and visit every now and again unannounced. I would walk in and, God bless them, the two aides and the teacher weren't really that interested.

"Initially I had the anger as the father of one of the kids, and at the same time they didn't know any better. It was truly their ignorance."

Halfway through his second year, Farrell moved his young son into a different school.

"There is no segregation. At least 10pc of every class are special needs and there about 20 kids to a class," he said.

"I've observed James' progress and the kindness and the compassion it breeds in other students. It really makes for a more inspired and more community based society.

"James is great, he's really cool. He's started the equivalent of first class here."

The actor recently contacted Dublin parents Alison and Tommy Boyle who were fighting for their disabled son's right to attend school.

The Boyles have organised a conference tonight at the D4 Hotel in Ballsbridge -- visit www.myspecialneeds.ie for more information.

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