Writ­ing book ‘ther­a­peu­tic’ for mum of Down’s syn­drome son

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

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

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