Mum's pride at son's Down's syndrome book

image captionConnor Rodriguez has written a book with his mum, Marian, and dad, Fred, about his experiences

"It's human nature for people to see someone who looks or sounds different and to make assumptions and judgements."

Marian Tinnelly hopes a new book she has written with her nine-year-old son, Connor, and his dad, Fred Rodriguez, could change how people see those living with Down's syndrome.

Together, the family wrote I Am Connor about Connor's experiences.

"We really feel that there are no limitations, you just have to give children a chance," she said.

image source, Marian Tinnelly
image captionConnor's family wrote the book together

"Maybe it might take a little bit more patience or resources to be able to do stuff with the kids but, in Connor's case, we wanted to really be a champion for him."

The Down's Syndrome Association estimates about 40,000 people in the UK live with the condition. Each has their own unique personalities and interests.

However, there are also differing challenges for each person.

"His (Connor's) muscle tone can be a little weak," said Marian, who is originally from Rostrevor, but now lives with Connor in New York.

image source, Marian Tinnelly
image captionThe book hopes to promote a positive message for those living with Down's syndrome

"We're fortunate we can get services for him in school which address that weakness, so he gets physical therapy, he gets occupational therapy and also speech therapy to help him.

"It's doing wonders for him and he's come along really, really well."

Marian said the aim of writing the book was to show that Connor was just like any other child his age.

A positive message for others

"It's just given a boost to his self esteem and made him truly believe that he's not that different to anyone else," she said.

"It's a story that has touched so many more people in so many different ways than we ever expected it to.

"It's not just for children, it's for adults as well. People have commented on the fact it's not just a message for kids, it's for children and adults alike."

That message is perhaps best summed up by a line from Connor's book.

"Some people may say I am different because of the way I look and sound, but I say we are more alike than you think."