"We share in the smallest victories" ... Colin Farrell

"We share in the smallest victories" ... Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell has spoken about raising a child with a disability, telling other parents that “it’s important to feel that you’re not alone”.

Farrell’s nine-year-old son James has Angelman Syndrome, a neuro-genetic disorder that can cause intellectual and developmental issues, including seizures, jerky movements and sleep disturbances.

You just kind of watch him on his path and see where it takes him and don’t have any expectations - hope reigns supreme 

“[My ex Kim Bordenave and I] share in the smallest victories; the first words at age six or seven, being able to feed oneself at 19, getting the seizures under control,” he told InStyle.

Farrell and his son James in 2009.

Farrell and his son James in 2009.

“When James took his first steps at age four, I nearly broke in half,” the Total Recall and Seven Psychopaths star said.

Farrell first went public about his son’s condition in when James was four.  

”It was at the Special Olympics in Shanghai in 2007 that I decided, after consulting with James’ mother, that I wanted to talk publicly about the pride and joy I had in our son,” he said.

“He has enriched my life, but I don’t want to minimise the trials that so many families go through; the fear, consternation, frustration, and pain.”

”When you’re the parent of a child with special needs, it’s important to feel that you’re not alone,” he adds.

Last year the actor spoke about his son on The Late Show with David Letterman, saying, “It’s a life of therapy for him. You just kind of watch him on his path and see where it takes him and don’t have any expectations - hope reigns supreme.

"But I should say my boy is a really happy boy."

Farrell works with the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome (FAST) to raise awareness of the disorder.

He’s also dad to Henry, 3, who he had with ex-girlfriend Alicja Bachleda-Curus.  

For more celebrity parenting news, check out our gallery of the stars and their kids

If you're raising a child with special needs, visit the Essential Baby forum