The Reviews

Here is what people are saying after reading A Positive Result…

​“Jo shouldn’t be surprised at the interest in this book, it’s a rare gem, and has something for everyone to relate to. Jo’s book can’t change the past, but it can help shape the future, and should be given to every professional involved with screening programmes as bedtime reading. Bringing up a child with Down syndrome in a world where disability discrimination is so entrenched that it’s unrecognisable, has not been easy for anyone I’ve met. I laughed and cried as I read, so glad Jo stole the time over the years to write it all down. “I didn’t feel brave,” Jo tells us, but isn’t that the essence of parenthood; it’s not about feeling brave, it’s about that parental bond, the one which drives us to do what we have to? Poo happens, we deal with it, and we move on, hope that’s not giving away too much of the plot?”​

Lyn Murray, Down syndrome advocate with Don’t Screen Us Out and Saving Down syndrome, and Huffington Post blogger.

“A wonderfully warm and honest account of the highs and lows of loving a child with Special Needs. 
An excellent read for any professional person who works with young people with additional needs. A great tool to facilitate professionals in understanding some of the challenges and lifestyles of families with children who have special needs. 
You will laugh and cry along with the brave journey the family have been on.
A wonderful support for new parents to show that there is light and hope at the end of tunnel, along with the proudest of moments and achievements, and a reminder for us as educators to remove the ceiling in what young people can achieve. 
A must-have book for any parent or educator.”​

Helena Brooks, Specialist Leader of Education (SLE): Special Educational Needs, UK.

Joanne Pasquale takes her reader on a heartfelt emotional journey through the pages of her book ‘A Positive Result.’ Undoubtedly many parents that have a child with Down syndrome will relate to many of the situations Joanne so openly and eloquently shares in her book. Readers unfamiliar with the journey of raising a child with different needs will hopefully come away with more awareness of the fight and challenges parents face dealing with everything from friends to the establishment. 
As I began reading this book I was quickly drawn in and found it hard to put down. It was easy to connect with her as she continually fought for Jamie and all that he deserves. My personal favourite memory of hers was the dinner at home with friends and ‘the look’. Joanne has a talent for painting an image so well you feel like you’re at their table as it’s all unfolding. 
I found A Positive Result to be thought provoking, honest and very refreshing! 
Through reading Joanne’s memoirs and the experiences, she encounters with various people (medical staff, family, friends, schools and support service) it inevitably highlights where we are succeeding as a community but more importantly where we have room for tremendous growth and opportunity to reflect on our value system.​

Christine Elliott, ​ Manager for the Down Syndrome Research Foundation UK.

“Finally, a book about Down syndrome! 
I was hooked on this raw and honest account of having a child with additional needs. The theme that stays true throughout is Jamie is just one child with additional needs and this is the story of their family. Jo doesn’t hold back in sharing her frustrations at friends, anger at the system and worries for the future, but most of all, you feel the love, patience, and dedication she has for all her children. 
As an educator to other educators, I recommend you read this to be less quick to judge parents. But also as a parent myself to a child with additional needs, I recommend this book – it will be like talking to the friend you wished you had by your side for both the achievements and challenges, the highs and lows. 
It will make you feel all the emotions a good book should, but you will also walk away with knowledge that can hopefully help promote understanding and acceptance of people with additional needs. You can feel what it is like to walk a day in Jamie and Jo’s shoes.”

Max Simpson, ​Founder and Vocational Programme Coordinator, Steps with Theera – a vocational training programme for people with special educational needs, Bangkok, Thailand.

“This extraordinary love story of a hilariously stroppy mother, her wonderful son Jamie and their firmly supportive family, will keep you hastily turning the pages from start to finish. It’s a triumphant tale of an anything but ordinary family, who both hilariously and sometimes very sadly stumble through everyday tasks and situations, weaving their way and setting their own course. This book is witty, gritty and beautifully written, a testament to a mother’s fiercely enduring love for her son, and a shining beacon of humour to those of us making our way through the fog. 
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be utterly exhausted when it’s over. Welcome to the world of Joanne and her fabulous family.​”

Sue Tulloch, ​proud parent of young man with Down syndrome.

“I have worked in the field of SEN for thirty-six years, the last twenty of which have been as Head teacher of Treetops School in Essex, UK.
I was honoured and humbled to be asked by Jo to write a brief review of this book. I was further humbled on many occasions throughout the book by the honesty and integrity contained in the text. Every professional – health, education or social care – should read this book to better understand the world from the perspective of the parent of a child with SEN of any kind.
It has made me re-think and re-evaluate the way I work and confirmed for me personally that I chose the best job in the world. Our children and young adults are amazing. It is time for the wider world to understand and accept this.”​

Paul Smith, ​Headteacher, Treetops Specialist School & CollegeEssex, UK.

If you’d like to know more about the book please get in touch with the author by using the CONTACT JOANNE tab or via e-mail on

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A Positive Result

One boy with Down syndrome and a mum who refused to be told what he could or could not achieve

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