There are no secrets. There is no mystery. There is only common sense.

Onondaga Proverb

Why Do We Have Parallel Worlds?

A 16-year-old boy applies for a job at every fast food restaurant in his part of town. His parents and friends give him a little advice on how to handle a job interview. He finds a job and begins saving money for a car. He’s on his way to adulthood.​


​A 16-year-old boy with a disability wants to get a part-time job. But no one thinks he’s ready (or able) to do this on his own. So his parents, special ed teacher, and a vocational-rehabilitation counselor convene an IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting to talk about this issue. The voc-rehab counselor and the special ed teacher will try to get him a job; they know best. Six months later, he’s still waiting.


​The parents of an 11-month-old are eagerly planning the baby’s first birthday party! Being first-time parents, they’ve had some struggles, but their families and friends have helped them over the rough spots. Life couldn’t be better! 


​The parents of an 11-month-old with a disability are nervously anticipating the IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) meeting coming up next month. The Service Coordinator, the therapists, and the baby’s mother are concerned the baby isn’t meeting all the goals. The mother is worn out from all the therapies and services, but she feels these things are important. The father is not so sure. He thinks all this is too much—birthday party plans aren’t even on the horizon for his baby son—and he’s ready for family life to go back to normal. The marriage is becoming strained.


​Why do we have Parallel Worlds? Why are there separate Rules for people who have been labeled with disabilities, and why do so many people with disabilities and family members follow those Rules, even when they don’t seem to make much sense? Why should the lives of people with disabilities be so different from the lives of people who don’t have disabilities? Click here to continue.

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