Special Kids: Newsletter No 32
Denial: When it Helps, When it Hurts.
Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt; it’s what a lot of us parents cling to when the unknown is too terrifying, when we don’t want to believe that there is something wrong with our child, or when we hold onto hope that it'll get better for them.

Often others seem to feel a responsibility to puncture our hopes. We are told things like “You know she will never learn to read…,” or “You need to accept that he doesn’t know what’s going on around him…”. They say we are in denial, that our dreams for our children are “false hopes”. So next time, when a well meaning professional shakes their head gently at you with genuine concern for you lack of acceptance of your child’s disability, remind them of Katie Keller, Helen Keller’s mum.

Should Katie Keller have listened to the professionals who insisted that Helen be put in an asylum? Was Katie Keller in denial when she fought back and felt that there was unseen potential in her daughter despite her serious limitations and behaviours? Was Mrs Keller wrong to hold onto hope for her little Helen? No I think not, I think it’s time we start to rethink the concept of parent's denial, take the first step and read this remarkable article. 
Rethinking Denial by Dance of Partnership

There are worse things than false hope. No hope at all.

Nina Zylstra
Editor of Special Kids
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