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Colin Farrell Gently Redirects Question About His Son With a Disability on 'The Ellen Show'

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On Tuesday, Ellen DeGeneres interviewed Colin Farrell about his upcoming movie, a live-action remake of the Disney film, “Dumbo” on “The Ellen Show.” During the interview, Farrell said he was unsure his 15-year-old son, James, who has Angelman syndrome, will ever be able to drive. A statement that many parents who have teens with disabilities may relate to.

This interaction began when Farrell mentioned how tough his travel schedule is on his family. Because of this, he made the decision to only work one month during 2018 and spent the rest of the year with his two boys, James, 15, and Henry, 9.

“Fifteen, is that driving age?” DeGeneres asked after learning the ages of his sons. The talk show host’s question was innocent enough. She may not have realized which of Farrell’s sons has a disability, or, perhaps, was unaware of how Angelman syndrome can impact development.

“No, James is not driving,” Farrell replied. “I don’t know if James will ever drive. I’m not one to limit the potential of what he’ll experience in his life, because James has Angelman syndrome, so I don’t think.”

Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurogenetic condition. Approximately one in 15,000 people — about 500,000 individuals worldwide — have AS. Children and adults with AS typically have balance issues, motor impairment and seizures that can be debilitating. Not all people with AS are able to walk or speak.

“I just didn’t know if that was something that was possible,” DeGeneres said.

“No, I don’t think so,” Farrell responded. “But as I said, I never know, it is a world of possibilities.”

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 of 2017, 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.”

You can watch the full interview with Ellen below.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Peter Kudlacz

Originally published: March 15, 2019
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