You may recognize Irish actor Colin Farrell as an action star in movies like Miami Vice and Alexander, or as a hell-raiser in piles of tabloid stories. Now there's another label to apply to the Hollywood heartthrob: Special-needs parent. Yeah, we're hell-raisers, too.
Farrell revealed in an interview with the Irish Independent newspaper that his four-year-old son, James, has Angelman Syndrome, a genetic condition that's characterized by severe developmental disabilities, seizures, speech and motor difficulties -- plus smiling and laughing.
Of his son, Farrell is quoted as saying, "The only time I'm reminded that there is something different about him -- that he has some deviation of what is perceived to be normal -- is when I see him with other four-year-olds. Then I go 'oh yeah' and it comes back to me. But from day one I felt that he's the way he's meant to be."
He also celebrates the fact that young James recently took his first steps, after years of hard work.
Farrell was involved in Special Olympics even before his son's birth, and that seems to have given him a healthy understanding of the gifts that children with special needs can bring.
For another parent's positive perspective on Angelman Syndrome, watch "My Little Angel," the latest addition to our gallery of inspirational videos. There are also adorable photos of kids with the disorder on the Angelman Syndrome Foundation site, which offers lots of good resources for affected families.Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images