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Quinn Bradlee Talks About Life with Learning Disability

Quinn Bradlee, son of retired Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and columnist Sally Quinn, discusses life with Velo-Cardio-Facial syndrome, the topic of his memoir "A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures."

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    Velo-cardio-facial syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects 1 in every 2,000 people in developed countries. The only disorder that occurs more frequently worldwide is Down syndrome.

    Sufferers usually have a laundry list of physical ailments, as well as learning disabilities. For many, the diagnosis goes undetected for years.

    A new memoir addresses the life of one young man with VCFS, as it is called, and his family. The author is 26-year-old Quinn Bradlee, and the book is called "A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures."

    We know you're the son of two pretty prominent parents. Your mother, Sally Quinn, is a very well-known writer. Your dad, Ben Bradlee, the former editor of the Washington Post. And it's great to have you all three here.

  • SALLY QUINN, journalist:

    Thank you.

    BEN BRADLEE, former Washington Post Editor: For us, too.


    So, Quinn, it's pretty audacious for anybody to write a memoir, much less somebody who's 26 and somebody with learning disabilities. How did you get the gumption to do this?

  • QUINN BRADLEE, author:

    Well, I went to a special school called Gow up in Buffalo, New York. And I saw kids there teasing each other, and I just thought, you know, "Wait a minute. There's kids teasing each other at a special school for kids with learning disabilities."

    And I just thought there ought to be something done about that, because the whole point of going to a special school is for kids to feel normal with learning disabilities. And I just didn't see that happening there.