An iPad gave my son with disabilities a voice – and changed his life

Kevin is a changed guy.

For most of us, our voices emanate from our own vocal chords. For Kevin, our 20-year-old son with Mowat Wilson Syndrome – a developmental disability – his words are battery-charged, delivered by an app and wrapped protectively in royal blue silicone. And we love his voice.

By the age of two, we knew that Kevin had severe language issues. We held onto the hope that, by age 10 – an important milestone in speech development – he would have words with which to communicate. Perhaps it was naïve on our part; it didn’t happen. When he was 13, we accepted what limited progress he had made, stopped thinking about what he could not do and focused on the everyday things he could achieve.

Dementia patients forced to rely on unpaid carers, poll says


Three-quarters of GPs say their dementia patients are forced to rely on family, friends, neighbours or other unpaid carers, because they get insufficient help from health and social care services.

Stephen Blakeburn, 50, who cares for his mother, Jenny (left), 86, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2010. GPs believe dementia patients are being failed by health and social care services. Photograph: Alzheimer’s Society/PA Photograph: Alzheimer’s Society/PA

A survey of 1,013 family doctors by the Alzheimer’s Society paints a worrying picture of a situation in which patients are often let down or left confused by the health and social care system.

Carer Pat Onions may be blind but still is a carer for her husband

SHE is one of an estimated 759,000 people in Scotland caring for a loved one who is elderly, ill or disabled, with the figure set to rise to at least one million by 2017.

Pat Onions is registered blind but cares full time for her husband David

HAVING suffered the sudden and devastating loss of her sight in her 30s, Pat Onions could have faced a very limited future.