Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Autism and Happiness: An Inspirational Tale

Indeed not everything inlife is material. Our emotions such as empathy, pity, love, hatred and everything cannot be paid for. These feelings are native to us. The following story proves that career will be worthless without the happiness of loved ones. When people we love are happy, we too are happy, right?

"'Having an Autistic Child Makes You Realize Your Career Isn't the Most Important Thing in Life. Your Family Is' AIDAN QUINN: TRAGEDY CHANGED MY PRIORITIES." Sunday Mirror (London, England) 5 Oct. 2008: 17.

'Having an Autistic Child Makes You Realize Your Career Isn't the Most Important Thing in Life. Your Family Is'


HE'S the billboard actor who has it all.

Good looks, fame, fortune, a beautiful wife and a CV that boasts a string of hit films.

Yet Aidan Quinn is nursing a heartache that has made him look at life in a very different way.

Father-of-two Quinn, 49, thought he had the complete life when he set out his stall 19 years ago with stunning wife Elizabeth Bracco.

But a twist of fate in his personal life has ensured his family will always come before the Irish/American's career.

The couple's eldest daughter Mia, 19, was perfectly healthy when she was born.

She was the first child for a couple who probably planned to go on and try for many more children.

Bright, chatty and inquisitive, she filled their lives with happiness.

But hours after having the MMR vaccination her life and the lives of Quinn and his wife would change for ever.

Before she was diagnosed as autistic, Mia soon began to react to the jab reaching a fever of 106 degrees before turning blue in the face.

Even though she woke the following day with dark circles below her eyes, doctors insisted it was a normal reaction.

But Quinn, whose family moved from Chicago to Birr in Co Offaly when he was a youngster, knew immediately there was something terribly wrong - and blames it on child jabs.

"The hardest time was the early years when my daughter was diagnosed as being autistic. That was when it was becoming epidemic. And it's gotten worse and worse," he said.

"It's because of vaccines in the case of my daughter. I think we'll find out that little children's immune systems cannot put up with 40 vaccines before the age of five mandated by drug companies who push these laws onto our congressmen and senators' desks.

"You ask any one of them, they don't even read them, they just sign them."

He admitted that having an autistic child has affected his life in a huge way.

"Every decision you make in your life is around it. It's the centre.

"Autism becomes a very dominant thing in a family's life. That's beginning to ease up, which is a blessing, as she's getting older now.

"She still has to have 24-hour supervision.

"My career is important to me but it's not the most important thing in my life.

My family is."

Quinn's dad was a professor of literature and his mother a housewife.

He recalls many happy memories but says growing up as a teenager in Birr - where he lost his virginity aged just 13 - was as happy as it got for him as a child.

Quinn became a roofer by trade but took his first steps into a full-time acting career when he joined a theatre group in Chicago aged 19.

Things went well at first but he soon discovered an actor's life was not all it was made out to be.

"I took an acting class very early on, got the lead role in a play that became a hit so suddenly, I went from being a roofer to going through this 'actor' buzz. For the next two years, I thought it was so easy; thought it was the easiest job in the world. All you had to do was pretend you were in the situation that the character was in and let whatever happens happen.

"Of course, I didn't work for the next two and a half years and saw how difficult it was and how disciplined you had to be."

Quinn's career path may not be as high-profile as other Irish actors such as Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne or Colin Farrell but he is still in huge demand with directors.

As well as starring in hit films including Michael Collins, Song For A Raggy Boy, Legends Of The Fall and The Mission, Quinn has also starred in a number of TV series in the US.

He shuns the limelight of Hollywood, instead preferring to live in New Jersey, although the couple also own an 18th Century cottage in upstate New York.

He still gets noticed by the ladies especially because of his piercing blue eyes.

Quinn revealed: "It's nice to get noticed. I only wish it had have happened to me when I was a single fella hanging around Dublin.

"I'm married now so it doesn't matter but it's always nice for someone to come up and say hello."

It was those famous blue eyes which helped him get the attention of his wife of 19 years Elizabeth who he met in a restaurant in New York in 1984.

And he says he thanks God she is a private person.

"She is very much her own person who is not impressed at all by the movie world which is great.

"We don't live through the lens of a camera and when I'm not at work we're just a regular family which is great"

Even though Quinn now spends the majority of his life in the US, he admitted he would love to live in Ireland for a while - but would need to convince his wife.

"All her family is in New York so I don't think she would ever move full-time to Ireland but I would love to. I just love any chance I can to get back. And my kids love it too."

Away from the silver screen he admitted he loves golf - and even cried when Padraig Harrington won the Open.

"My wife was slagging me because I was crying but I was telling her she just didn't understand - he was an Irishman winning the Open," he said.

Quinn is back zig-zagging across the Atlantic this week having starred in his sister Marian's movie 32A. "I think we're going to hear a lot more from her in the future," he said.

No comments:

Post a Comment