Writing book ‘therapeutic’ for mum of Down’s syndrome son
A MUM from Northwood says it was “therapeutic” to write a book about her experiences of raising a child with Down’s syndrome.
Alison Lane, 64, of Maxwell Road, spent two years working on her true story Down But Not Out, about her son Alex, now 28, and his struggles.
She succeeded in getting it published in April this year and hopes it will give some comfort and hope to other parents who find themselves in a similar position with a disabled son or daughter.
Alison and her husband Simon, 63, who runs a property maintenance company, tried for a baby unsuccessfully for nine years before resorting to IVF.
After five attempts, Alex was born, but the family did not immediately realise he had Down’s.
Alison said: “I wasn’t able to have a scan early into the pregnancy, which I think was fate.
“The doctors wanted to deliver Alex two weeks early because he wasn’t growing, so I had a planned ceasarian.
“I was too weak to care for him, but a nurse showed me a photo and he looked lovely.
“I thought he could have Down’s and the nurse said ‘actually, we think he has’ and she gave me a false smile and quickly left the room.”
It was a devastating shock for Alison, who was then 35, but in time she realised it was nothing like as bad as her initial fears.
In the book, Alison talks about Alex’s early years and her concerns about his schooling and the arrival of her second child Charlotte, now 26.
Alex grew up and enrolled on a course at Queen Alexandra College in Birmingham, and now lives there permanently and is able to do limited work.
After retiring from the pharmaceutical company where she worked for 42 years, and with her children having flown the nest, Alison was swimming one day and got the idea to document the family’s story on paper.
She said if she had realised the difficulty in getting published she may not have persevered, but after four rejections a publisher agreed to take on the book.
It is now available from Amazon at £7.99 and other retailers.
Alison said: “I felt proud and elated and I hope the book will help other people.”
n EXPERIENCE: Alison Lane from Northwood pictured with her son Alex, who has Down’s syndrome