William was the Sullivan’s second child, delivered at home in their small village. He now has five brothers and sisters and has always taken a full part in family life. He spent several of the early years of his school career in special schools but recently his parents managed to find a place for him with a group of ‘handicapped’ children in a unit in an ordinary school

William’s parents were told as soon as their son was born that he was a ‘mongol’. ‘You’ll never regret it’, said the midwife. ‘You’ve got Nature’s own. They bring a new quality and compassion to your life.’ The specialist who first saw William was more brusque, turning the baby over and commenting on the parts that were ‘not quite up to standard’ or ‘a bit loose’, until the parents felt that their child was being treated like a joint of meat. Years later, sharing their experiences with a group of parents of children with Down’s Syndrome, the Sullivans realised that they were not alone in this feeling.