‘The Joy of Knowing Pete,’ a memoir

I have just published ‘The Joy of Knowing Pete: Much was said, yet no words spoken’.

I look back on the teenage years of our younger son who had Down’s syndrome and profound and multiple learning disabilities describing his positive influence on those he met in his short life, while including some reflections on more recent government policies.

Please see The Joy of Knowing Pete - Hazel Morgan - YouCaxton Publications for more information. It is available from the publisher, on Amazon and can be ordered through bookshops.

It is so good to see the Choice Forum flourishing over 20 years after we set it up at the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities.


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It’s great to see this book is now available as it gives a wonderful insight into the experience of family life for Pete, his parents and older brother. At the beginning of the year I was asked to read a review copy of ‘The Joy of Knowing Pete’ and have included below some of the content from the review to give a sense of what we can gain from reading about Pete’s life and how he navigated his way through his teenage years without using words:
“Hazel’s memoir creates a strong sense of a mother’s connection with a son who needed huge amounts of daily support to live life well. She takes us on a journey with Pete, through his teenage years until his untimely death. That journey creates a picture of how the family adapted their way of doing things so that Pete felt safe, whilst also exploring his own loves and interests. There is plenty of gentle humour around the way Pete expresses his choices and directs the family, without using words, often with the aim of ending up in a café to enjoy something to eat.
The memoir is full of other people who Pete drew into their lives, showing the importance of friendship and connections for people with learning disabilities. Interwoven with these stories are Hazel’s concerns for her son’s future and the broader issues of changing policy and practice that impact on the lives of people with learning disabilities. This memoir is a wonderful insight into how the family around someone with profound disabilities are at the core of someone having, in the words of Hazel and Andy, ‘a complete life’ but also subtly hints at the need for the rest of society to be more inclusive and for a greater national policy commitment to people with learning disabilities.”