“From the Inside”

from the inside

It is a proud, and important, day for my little family in Ireland.

My wife Fiona has been a constant champion for our younger son Ian, who is autistic.

As a result of her efforts, boosted by love, resilience and fortitude, today Ian can speak, read and engage appropriately. If it had been left to the authorities, I have no doubt that Ian would do none of these things.

As an inspiration to parents of autistic children wondering what to do or who to turn to, Fiona has written an account of her home education of Ian, including a moving account of when he first spoke.  The dominant message of the book is simple – you can do something yourself, do not wait for the authorities as it will mean your child is losing valuable time. It is a heart-warming and uplifting book, and I am a very proud husband and father.

“From the Inside – Raising, teaching, loving an autistic child”
By Fiona van Dokkum

Is a factual account of my son Ian’s diagnosis in South Africa, our immigration to Ireland, the problems I encountered finding appropriate schooling for him here, and my ultimate decision to home-school him myself.

Autism is a strange beast. There’s no getting away from it. Understanding it comes with time, but only those who actually have an autistic child and have to live with the condition, day in and day out, really know what it means.

This book is not about a miracle cure. It is about dedication and hard work, about strength in adversity, and most of all, about common sense.

Believing that my son had enormous potential to learn and unable to find an education for him in which I believed, I took it upon myself to teach him, my way.

Connecting, day after day, with the beautiful mind of my autistic child was definitely one of the most exciting and rewarding times of my life.

This is our story.

The book is published by Emu Ink (http://www.emuink.ie)

The book launch is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 16th December, at 7pm in The Park Hotel in Dungarvan, County Waterford.

We look forward to seeing you there.

from the inside coverSee the blog:


About Neil van Dokkum

Neil van Dokkum (B. SocSc; LLB; LLM; PGC Con.Lit) Neil is a law lecturer and has been so since arriving in Ireland from South Africa in 2002. Prior to that Neil worked in a leading firm of solicitors from 1987-1992, before being admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa (a barrister) in 1992. He published three books in South Africa on employment law and unfair dismissal, as well as being published in numerous national and international peer-reviewed journals. Neil currently specialises in employment law, medical negligence law, family law and child protection law. He dabbles in EU law (procurement and energy). Neil retired from full-time practice in 2002 to take up a lecturing post. He has published three books since then, “Nursing Law for Irish Students (2005); “Evidence” (2007); and “Nursing Law for Students in Ireland” (2011). His current interest is the area of disability as a politico-economic construct. Neil is very happily married to Fiona, and they have two sons, Rory and Ian.
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