On the drive home from the hospital, having left Mum and baby recovering, my father, my brothers and I were all stunned, exhausted, and overwhelmed. The magnitude of Theo's diagnosis had hit, and all I wanted to do was reassure my Dad. "It's ok - we'll always be here to look after him." And I meant it.
When Brody's behaviour turns like this, it's hard not to feel like a rubbish parent. Because what we want foremost is for him to be happy. And that mummy guilt, it can really weigh you down. It's hard not to feel pissed off that things aren't straight forward and envious of friends who have the life you pictured when you first saw the positive sign after peeing on a stick.
The health of people with learning disabilities is worse that that of the general population with common health problems including respiratory disease, heart disease and obesity. A 2012 report by Mencap, Death by Indifference, highlighted the deaths of 74 people with a learning disability in NHS care over 10 years. It suggested that many health professionals still fail to provide adequate health care to people with learning disabilities.
When it comes to pass-remarkable comments to do with my parenting, I've tended to let them go in the past (okay, I'll admit I may have fetched my imaginary voodoo doll once or twice...). Let's be honest, pretty much all parents encounter them every so often, be it for giving in to a tantrum "too easily" or co-sleeping on a bad night.
here is still a prejudice in education between the students themselves which leads to secrecy instead of openness. It's nothing to be ashamed of, in fact Richard Branson once said 'being dyslexic is actually an advantage and has helped me greatly in life' at the end of the day it's your creative ideas and opinions that will make people take notice, not your calligraphy skills.
As somebody like Katie Price being in the public eye and especially as a parent of a child with disabilities, I can't imagine the effect it's having on her emotionally and of course the family too. No parent wants to see their child being publicly harassed and abused. It must be uncomfortable to witness. It's absolutely unnecessary and understandably incredibly hurtful. Some say she's using this to gain media attention which I'm sure is ridiculously untrue. I'm sure Katie wouldn't use her child to gain media attention let alone want any of this abuse to carry on.
To this day, I would love to ask that doctor, 'what are you sorry for?' There's nothing to be sorry about, it's just a different journey. Our girls bring us so much joy and in September they started at the same mainstream school as their big brother Finlay. Our family feels happy and healthy. So now, four years down the line, if this is our journey then we wouldn't swap our tour guides for the world.
Each and every one of us can help to protect children with learning disabilities, but as a society we must be prepared to fundamentally change our attitudes and approach to how this group of young people are treated and supported. Only then can we take the necessary steps to protect these children and make sure that no one uses their disability to sexually exploit them.