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Scientist Richard Dawkins has become involved in another Twitter row, claiming it would be "immoral" to carry on with a pregnancy if the mother knew the foetus had Down's Syndrome.

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a brain condition; where the brain hasn’t developed in a typical way. Although no two children with ASD are the same, they all face challenges in interacting and communicating with others. And they also have either a narrow range of interests or engage in repetitive activities.
  • What you think about other people’s reactions to your child’s disability can affect how you feel and behave. People will react in different ways to your child’s disability. Understanding how your thoughts affect your feelings and behaviour can help you work out how to respond.

After a diagnosis of disability, most parents feel confused and overwhelmed, shocked, disbelieving or numb, and in denial. This is only normal, you are allowed to let your emotions out. As you get used to the situation, you might feel sad, especially when thinking about your disappointed hopes and dreams for your child and yourselves. There can be feelings of blame which are directed towards yourselves and other people as well as fear about the future. You might also feel confused and overloaded, with too much information or not enough information; sometimes conflicting advice and pressure to make decisions.


Learning disabilities differ between children. What may affect one may not affect the other. One child may struggle with reading and spelling, while another loves books but does not understand math. Still another child may have difficulty understanding what others are saying or communicating out loud. The problems are very different, but they are all learning disorders.


Has your child recently been diagnosed with a learning disability? Did you immediately begin to worry about how he or she will cope with school? It’s only natural to want the best for your child but academic success, while important, isn’t the end goal. What you really want for your child is a happy and fulfilling life. With encouragement and the right support, your child can build a strong sense of self-confidence and a solid foundation for lifelong success.


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