Speech. Mine, not Ian’s.

My wife’s stirring speech at her book launch.

From the Inside


This is the speech I gave at the book launch.  I hope you will find it interesting :-


“When you are gifted with a child, you may not even be fully aware of it, but that child’s future lies mapped out in the back of your mind. A future that may include mundane things like a particular school, or college, or gainful employment … or special things like marriage, and children.

But even if it includes none of those things, above anything else, it will include sharing.

Sharing thoughts and ideas and jokes and opinions.

Sharing conversation.

When a child is diagnosed with autism, that future is wiped away from you. Now you are faced with a child who may never talk, will probably need a specialised education, is unlikely to go to college, may never marry or have children. A child who may…

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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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