When Irish eyes are smiling!

When Irish eyes are smiling!

When Irish eyes smile ...
When Irish eyes smile …

The image is the clue, but the story is significant and the lyrics to the song mean so much more than a traditional Irish song.

We were regular theatre goers, and have, as a family seen many musicals, artists and pantomimes over the years and something Marc looked forward to with excitement and enthusiasm. Passionate about music, his collection numbers well over a thousand CD’s and he’s tinkered with Keyboard, Harmonica, Guitar and Drums. He has a particular passion for traditional Irish music.

Three years ago that all changed. Through the impact of close family bereavement we learned about Marc’s Autism for the first time at aged [then] 26, as a result of treating a marked increase in seizures with additional anti-epileptic medication. First one, then another, and all failing to arrest the seizures, but all heightening his anxiety, depression, mood swings and general lack of interest in anything, fearful of leaving home and seriously sensitive to sound, smells, lights and touch. All our lives were on hold, trying to mourn the recent loss of loved ones, and also trying to support and understand [what we thought] deteriorating health conditions in our son. With the support of understanding Neurologist and Mental Health practitioner we we able to diagnose Autism and amend anti-epileptic medication which eased the extremes of his tormented mind.

Over the years we have learned to understand Autism [at least as best we can] understood how to plan, respond, prepare, communicate. We have Lapsed time clocks, picture diaries, social stories, strict routines, sensory calming lights, sounds and smells, indoors and out. We have learned to see the start of a melt down and what interventions to apply, reassure when it’s needed, direction continuously and discussion with focus on the positive and fun.

Today we took the journey to the theatre to see Foster and Allen, an Irish duo who have been entertaining for over 40 years and, one of Marc’s favourites, singing a range of traditional, humerous and emotional songs.

He loved it, sang along to every song and rocked and jigged in his chair throughout. Today we achieved something , although a small thing, a couple of years ago we thought was beyond us.

Irish eyes certainly smiled at, and for Marc today πŸ™‚

10 thoughts on “When Irish eyes are smiling!

  1. Not a small thing at all Paul, something that will be remembered forever. A wonderful night out together.
    I didn’t realise that Foster and Allen were still around. Margaret’s late fathers favorites. So, you’ve brought back some memories for her, thank you.

  2. A short story with a wonderful end.
    It is so sad to read of Marc’s illnesses and how they affect your whole family.
    You and your wife should be congratulated at having done so much to try to improve Marc’s and indirectly other less able peoples quality of life.
    The difficult times are no doubt terrible, but strangely enough I think that this must make the good times, like your concert, shine even brighter.

    Best wishes to you all.


    1. Your very kind Dougie, thank you so much, and your right, the good times certainly are brilliant, especially for Marc, who at times, seems to have so few of them πŸ™‚

  3. I love your title & photo Paul. I’m delighted that Marc enjoyed the Foster & Allen evening so much. It’s great that he’s so passionate about his music especially Irish music. Long may it continue!

    1. Thank you so much Julie, there is something about the Irish tunes that has him ‘bopping’ all the time … and it’s not even the Guinness πŸ™‚

  4. What a beautiful, touching story with such a happy ending! The Irish always make one smile!! My husband’s parents were Irish and his sense of humour and humanity are deep!

  5. Hello Paul and Marc,
    I’m so delighted that you were able to enjoy your Foster and Allen evening together – a truly uplifting experience I would imagine. These moments will be so very precious for you all and something to look back on with joy during the difficult times.

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