⇦ Back to 2018 main page

Alan Ryan

Place in the Family
Alan has one sister named Sophie (10) and who he adores
Alan loves to ride his bike, swimming, football, swing ball and playing on the road outside our house. He adores eating out and his favourite food is a burger. He also loves babies especially his baby cousins Danielle, Toby and Leo.
He doesn’t like blood tests, having his hair blow dried or being helped (to which he replies “I don’t need help, I’m seven”)
Soccer, Reading, Cycling, Playing Frisbee and Swimming.

Testimonial by Mum, Jackie Ryan

Alan has had another brilliant year. He took on the challenge of senior infants with ease despite having a new teacher, a new SNA and a new resource teacher all in one go to contend with. He adores school and is doing really well. He loves maths and Irish and even won a certificate for Irish speaker of the day recently. He loves spellings and reading and his writing has come on hugely also.

Alan spent a week in Lanzarote in early May and he loved it from start to finish. He was the talk of the resort and he loved speaking in Spanish with words such as Hola and Gracias rolling off the tongue. He loved swimming and walking on the beach but his favourite activity by far was to pick a different restaurant to dine at each night. He was best friends with the waiters everywhere we went and in fact he was best friends with most people everywhere we went. This is not unusual for Alan. He is like a magnet and seems to draw people to him even when he isn’t even trying.

In the last year Alan finally conquered his fears in the water and is swimming now with ease.
Alan loves his family, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents & friends. He has 2 cousins in Australia who he doesn’t get to see very often but he never forgets them. He also has a little cousin in New Zealand who he is mad about despite not having met Toby as of yet. The special bond is there no matter what the distance.

Alan is one of the funniest and happiest individuals you could meet. His smile is infectious. Everywhere we go people ask me if he is ever in a bad mood and the truth is that unless he is sick, he is always happy. He skips into school every day and skips home again. He is a constant reminder to us about how to live in the moment and how to make the most of every single day.

But perhaps more importantly than all of the above is that Alan is more than just a cute picture on a poster. He has a valuable role to play in society and he has so much to offer to those around him. He has educated us as a family, the children in his school and everyone he engages with, and we are all the better people for it. He has shown us the importance of patience, understanding, acceptance and diversity. He is capable of so much more than people might imagine. He has a bright future ahead of him, provided the opportunities are made available to him. A world without Alan and people like him would make our society a less colourful, joyful and diverse place in which to live.

The centre

Alan attends the Down syndrome centre every second week for Occupational therapy with Ellie. He skips into the centre each time and it’s the only appointment he has that big sis Sophie looks forward to also. Ellie always includes her in the session and as a result Sophie feels part of the process. This is so important for siblings who can sometimes be forgotten along the way. In fact Sophie could probably run the session by now.

Alan will also attend a specialised summer camp at the centre in July which will be great for his development but also for socialising with his pals.

The centre is a special place for us as a family. We see it as the future for people with Down syndrome in Ireland. As a result we have been involved in many fundraising events to help raise money for the centre. Without it & all of the amazing people that work there, I don’t honestly know what the future would hold for Alan.


Testimonial by Ellie Forsyth, Occupational Therapist

Alan has had another great year, continuing to keep up with his peers throughout senior infants. Alan’s handwriting is coming along beautifully and he is developing a great sense of spatial awareness which is having a hugely positive effect on his legibility. Alan works hard on motor planning, sequencing and ideation; coming up with the most fantastic obstacle courses and makes great use out of our ‘fancy’ (Alan’s word .. not mine!) therapy equipment. Although Alan’s Occupational Therapy appointments are late in the afternoon, following a busy day in school, he is always so eager to learn and gives 110%. It is my privilege to be a part of Alan’s continued success and development.

Alan Ryan

2016 2016

Alan Ryan

2017 2017

Alan Ryan

2018 2018

If you would like to support the work we do at The Down Syndrome Centre, please click on the button below to make a donation

or Text DSC to 50300 to Donate €4

100% of your donation goes to The Down Syndrome Centre across most network operators. Some operators apply VAT which means that a minimum of €3.25 will go to The Down Syndrome Centre. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY, Helpline 01 443 3890