What you don’t know can sometimes serve you well.

They rushed to get Parker’s genetic testing back to us before the long Thanksgiving weekend.  Even though I repeatedly told them that I already knew Parker had Down syndrome, they felt that it was important  we had it on paper signed by someone at a nearby lab.

Since Parker was still in the NICU when the testing came back it was simple to meet and get the details of Parker’s extra chromosome.  They only thing I asked was that they not make any comments about whether they though Parker would learn to do things like read or recognize numbers or hold a job.

This, of course, was back before Pulmonary Hypertension and it’s associated fears were embedded in my heart.  But I digress.

They young social worker looked at me and told me that genetic tests couldn’t determine what Parker could and couldn’t do, but I’d heard enough to know what many thought a child with Down syndrome would or would not be capable of, and I reserved the right to realistic dreams based on Parker’s individual reality.

It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  What you don’t know can sometimes serve you well.

I don’t allow myself to compare Parker to other kids.  Not typical kids or other kids with Down syndrome.  Parker’s education has been based on hard work, lots of repetition, prayer and, yes, sometimes tears.

A little boy with Down syndrome smiiling.

I don’t hold Parker up to someone else’s achievements, and on the flip side, I don’t hold him down to anyone else’s achievements either. 

We’re on this journey together me and this Hero of mine.

Quite frankly I’m thinking that only the sky will be our limit.  But who knows?  Maybe we’ll even blaze a trail past the clouds all the way to the stars.

About Tammy and Parker

Special Needs Blogger, and homeschooling Mom, heavily involved in advocacy for all kids with special needs in Utah.


  1. I know you’ve heard this story, but I’ll never forget when Nana was 3, the school psychologist for the pre-school portion of early intervention told me as I was talking about my goals for her, “You DO realize she’s retarded, don’t you?”. The 3 years from her birth had strengthened me enough that I didn’t wilt (or cry), so I gave it back to her, but I can only imagine if someone had had that attitude with me when she was younger. We just can’t know what ANY of our children will become, so limiting their potential is just crazy.

    I read a story about a teacher in a mainstream preschool who had children with DS in her class and she taught them their letters and reading right along with the others. When an administrator asked her, didn’t she realize they shouldn’t be taught that because they were retarded, she said, innocently, “well, nobody told me not to!”. It wasn’t even a conscious decision on her part- they were just all kids in her class and that’s what she did. I love that story.

  2. Parker is perfect and that’s all you need to know, right?! And I agree with your approach, comparisons cause worry, and are completely unnecessary.

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