'He'd have ended up sat in the corner'

11th April 1997 at 01:00
Peter Flynn (pictured above) had a difficult childhood. He grew up in a children's home and spent long periods in hospital having treatment for a severe and complicated medical condition brought on by his cerebral palsy.

After an unsuccessful placement with a foster family, he was adopted by Christine Flynn, one of the carers at his special school who had known him since he was a baby.

"We had to start building up his confidence and just when he was starting to get somewhere he had to leave school," said Christine.

When he left school at 19, his parents were anxious for him to continue in education, and they eventually secured funding for him to attend Bridge College in Stockport.

"Probably he would have ended up at a day centre, sat in a corner," said Christine. "It wasn't until a few days before college started that we found out we had got funding for him. I was delighted."

After six months at college, Peter is beginning to show signs of improvement. He cannot speak, walk or sit up unaided, but he is happier and his bouts of distress have diminished.

He is now able to choose his lunch from a menu, has learnt to control his head movements, and the college is developing technology that will enable him to operate a tape recorder with his leg.

"We are working towards a time when he might be able to communicate better with other people, instead of them having to guess what he wants," said Christine. "He's never going to be able to do a job but at least he is being stimulated and not just vegetating."

TES april 11 1997 news team

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today