Our efforts may also be self-sabotaged by the widely-held belief that we shouldn’t hold onto "false hopes."

Gatekeepers  of all types—including medical personnel—counsel parents and people with disabilities against having

"false hopes."

(What are they afraid of, on our behalf?)

Kathie Snow

Disability Is Natural Books and Media


Best Hopes, Worst Fears

New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense

In TV-Land every week, risk-taking men and women tackle unpleasant, yucky, and sometimes dangerous situations during reality show “contests.” The pay-off? Self-esteem, pride, money, and more. In the Real World, ordinary men, women, boys, and girls also face difficult circumstances on a daily basis—taking a test at school, learning to drive (or holding your breath the first time your child drives alone), getting fired, getting hired, and a variety of other experiences that constitute being a human being in today’s world.

In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, Frodo quoted one of his Uncle Bilbo’s favorite sayings, “It’s a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Yes, in the Real World, life is full of fear—but every day, most of us go out our doors and face the risks of daily life. We do this because life is also full of hope and promise, and in many situations, our hopes are realized because we’ve faced our fears and taken risks.

In Disability World, however, things are very different. Many children and adults with developmental disabilities are “protected” by the Gatekeepers (service providers, educators, and even parents) who are in control. And in these situations, people with disabilities are not allowed to take risks—not allowed to be in regular ed classrooms, live on their own, have Real Jobs, take care of themselves, and more. Fear—of failure, danger, or something else—puts the brakes on “risky” adventures.​ Click here to continue.