Colin Farrell opens up on nine-year-old son James' disabilities

Apr 10, 2018
11:51 P.M.
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Trying to raise a child is hard itself, but when this child is born with special needs, it gets really specific and cookie-cutter teachings won't work.


That is what Colin Farrell has been dealing with as a parent for the last 14 years, and it can’t have been easy for him.

Farrell has a 14-year-old son named James, who was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome, a rare and complex genetic condition that primarily affects the body’s nervous system, when he was just 2 years old.

Symptoms include problems with movement and balance, severe developmental delays, intellectual disability, and very severe speech impairment.

According to Shared, although most parents would not like to overcome these difficulties, Colin took the approach of sheer joy and amazement.


During an interview he gave to People Magazine, the actor revealed that James is making incredible progress and makes him proud every day for it.

“James is an absolute stud. Every day, just breaking down boundaries. He’s an amazing boy. Everything he’s achieved in his life has come through the presence and the kind of will that is hard work. He’s a lot to be inspired by," he said.


After having to deal with it, Colin became an advocate for Angelman syndrome, appearing at multiple fundraisers and conferences to speak about his experiences raising a child with this condition.

"The struggles of a child with special needs can be so brutal that they can tear at the very fabric of your heart, but the love shared and the pure strength and heroism observed is the needle and thread that mends all tears," he said.

Farrell also stressed the importance of finding community when you are a parent of a child with special needs, claiming that it's a daily battle.

Colin regularly attends the annual gala for Angelman syndrome research and first spoke publicly about his son’s condition in 2012.