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"I Don't Know"

"I don’t know"—said out loud or silently in our heads—can open our minds to solutions and possibilities! We really don’t know what’s possible, what’s do-able, what will work or won’t, until we try!

Kathie Snow 

Three little words—“I love you”—are considered the most important words we can say. But three other little words—“I don’t know”—could also have a profoundly important effect on the lives of children and adults with disabilities and their families. They could prevent the death of dreams, equalize relationships, open up worlds of possibilities, and much more. The use of these words by parents, physicians, educators, service providers, and anyone else who touches the life of a person with a disability could radically change that person’s life!

Let’s start at the beginning—D-Day—the day of diagnosis. Many, if not most, physicians who diagnose developmental disabilities in children are usually pretty certain in their prognoses: they tell parents what their child will never do. The physician’s words have the power to turn the dreams of the parents into a nightmare of hopelessness and fear.

Some parents never recover, and their children, sadly, suffer the consequences of their parents’ emotions and the physician’s prescription: a lifetime of treatments, interventions, and services to “cure” the child or minimize the effects of the condition; limited opportunities to experience a full life as a child or adult; segregation in special programs; low expectations; and more. Other parents, however, discover the doctor was wrong​ . . . Click here to continue.