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Article One – The Joy of Knowing Pete

Hi readers, it’s Kerry and William here, interviewing one of our wonderful Trustees Hazel Morgan. We wanted to find out more about a book she’s recently published about her son Peter, who had Down's Syndrome.

Our conversation with her was long, so here’s the first part, the second coming after Christmas. The full interview will be on our People First Dorset website in early 2023.

So Hazel, why did you choose to write this book? I'd already written one book about Peter, ‘Through Peter’s Eyes’, when he was 12. I tried to imagine the world as he saw it, plus some commentary about how I felt and what I thought. I wrote this next book during covid which looks back on his teenage years, a time interesting for most people. Since he died at 18, now 27 years ago, I became Co-director at the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, and more recently a Trustee at People First Dorset. In these years I’ve learnt a lot, which helped when making further reflections in this book.

What was Peter like? Well, he had quite a lot of additional needs. He didn't see or hear very well and had a heart condition. He never talked but he did communicate in different ways, like the way you are nodding now, William. Using the Makaton sign language, he knew what please was, and the word biscuit! If he wanted to eat, he’d get his plate to tell us, or his coat if he wanted to go out! He taught me a lot.

What have you got out of writing this book? Many things! Mostly I hope my story helps others understand more about people like Pete who don't use words, and who can still live life to the full.

Read again in two weeks to hear about Peter’s friendships!

The writers of the Our View column are supported in their editing by People First Dorset - a charity led and run by people with learning disabilities with support from staff.

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