Colin Farrell Offers Advice to Parents Navigating Their Child's New Diagnosis

Earlier this month, Colin Farrell attended the annual summit and gala for Angelman syndrome research in Chicago and shared some advice other parents of children with disabilities might appreciate. His wisdom comes from his own experience as a parent. Farrell’s son, James, 14, has Angelman syndrome.

In an interview with TODAY, Farrell said, “I would humbly say to parents of a child with a recent diagnosis of any disorder that while they may well be experiencing the death of one dream, that dream of having a healthy child, there are a thousand dreams and milestones that are yet to reveal themselves.”

Farrell also encouraged parents to reach out and find support. “Only you will ever know truly what it is to feel what you feel, but you will recognize yourself in the struggles and triumphs of others when you hear their stories,” the actor added.

As the father of a child with a disability he reminded other parents like him, “You are not alone.”

This isn’t the first time Farrell spoke about his son or his experience as the parent of a child with a disability. In March, he spoke at Gatepath’s “The Power of Possibilities” event.

“Be careful of judging what your child is capable of,” he said. “You have to watch your child and give him every opportunity to see how they respond. Let your child decide what his limitations are.”

Image via Paula Evans at the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics Gala.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Angelman Syndrome

Encouraging My Daughter With a Disability to Use Her Voice

Well, today it happened. One of my worst fears realized. When Jess came home, I noticed there were no words on her Talker. I looked in the history (on her iPad) and sure enough, she did not utter a word all day. Upon this discovery, I turned to her and said, “If you do not use [...]
Ashley reaching out to hug Amber.

What My Sister's 'Random Acts of Hugging' Taught Me About Disability and Life

Since my sister Ashley doesn’t communicate through spoken language, she has to show people how she feels and what she is thinking. There is an age-old saying that actions speak louder than words. Ashley’s actions don’t just speak louder; they scream louder. She speaks with hugs and snuggles to say “I love you, and you [...]
Shereen and her brother.

To My Older Brother With Angelman Syndrome

There are so many things I would like to say to you, but you’d just think I’m being your annoying little sister. So I have decided to say a few things to strangers about what it was like growing up together, and our unbreakable bond. My earliest memories as a kid involved us, in front [...]
Ashley and Amber

How My Sister With Angelman Syndrome Has Shaped My Career Path

My desk at work is piled with stacks of papers, reports, and Post-it notes with to-do reminders. When I am having a difficult day, I know taking a moment to look at the framed photograph on my desk of my sister will always put a smile on my face. I can take credit for the [...]