Monthly Archives: May 2016

Mother’s Day

NACD Mother's DayI hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day.

If yours was, or perhaps wasn’t particularly wonderful, I hope you are still taking great pride in being a mother.

As Charles Dickens said, “Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it cannot be pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues—faith and hope.

Speaking of faith and hope, I have been fortunate to be home this past week and to be able to observe a mother to be. From my window I can look out over my little pond and I have been able to watch a mother Mallard duck sit on her nest. It has been raining almost nonstop and to make it really unpleasant, we’ve been getting hail and serious winds with temperatures here in the Utah mountains still dropping down close to the 30’s at night.

It’s now been five days since I spotted this very well-hidden and camouflaged hen and as many days since her mate has been absent. I believe the colorful drake stays away so as not to attract attention to their nest. So, there she is all alone, through the cold and the rain, day in and day out. I have not seen her leave her nest for even a minute. I’m wondering if she will remain on the nest throughout the 28-30 days I believe it will take for her to hatch her ducklings. Tough job! But, you Moms know it’s a tough job and I’m sure a lot tougher on many days than you would wish, but you hang in there.

Here’s to you—all you moms who make my job possible, because we can’t really do anything except through you. So on behalf of all your children who perhaps can’t say it yet and those who can, but don’t really yet understand what you have done and are doing for them, I’m going to do it for them.

Thank you mom—you’re the best!!!!!!!!!

– Bob

Diverse Range of Variables

Creating a VisionMost parents ask this question of themselves and others. Many struggle with trying to answer it themselves, while others will seek answers from “experts.” The real answer to this question isn’t possible until we have a vision and begin to manage a diverse range of variables, without which we cannot answer the question with any degree of certainty.

What is my child’s potential—what can he or she achieve?

Every parent asks this question and those with rather typical kids have a fair and generally narrower range of expectations and possible outcomes and can attempt to factor in a variety of variables that they plan and hope to control. Parents of typical children can be very proactive, have a vision and try to pick the best of available schools and or academic opportunities, stay on top of their children’s progress and development, etc. and limit the involvement of too many people and avoid those who do not share their vision. The stronger the vision and the more proactive the parents, generally the narrower the range of variables and the better the odds that the parents can help their children achieve success. Such parents try to insure that everyone who is involved with their children share their vision. Children with less proactive or involved parents who go through their childhoods and “educations” without a clear vision, direction or someone in control are exposed to a greater diversity of variables and their futures are thus much more in question.

Families with special needs children tend to ask themselves and most anyone else who might venture an opinion the same question, “What is my child’s potential, what can he or she achieve?” Parents of special needs children tend to not trust their instincts and often abdicate the vision to others, often many others. The answer your neighbor on the other side of the fence might provide is unfortunately likely to be no better than that of the “experts.” Why? Because the more issues your child has the greater the “experts” perspectives are to be negatively influenced by the previous achievements or lack of such, of those with similar labels or issues and the immensely diverse range of variables. All of this tends to result in very low conservative visions. So, how do we begin the process of managing the variables? We do it by aiming high, by creating a vision, by being proactive. One huge factor that is under our control is what and how much do we as parents and to what degree we direct, control and create opportunities and to what degree we limit the number of participants who do not share our vision.

If our children’s potentials are left to the blowing winds and increasingly diverse range of variables produced by the ever-increasing numbers of educators, therapists, doctors, etc. who come in contact with our children, each acting on their vision and trying to modifying our vision, we decrease the odds that we can predict or positively impact our children’s futures. The diverse range of variables is just too great.

Having worked with and helped literally tens of thousands of families, I can safely say it’s very difficult for any child, but particularly a special needs child to exceed their parent’s expectations. Parents need a vision—the vision drives the directions, maintains parental control and limits variables. Parents, who do not have a vision or those who except low expectations simply are not as proactive as they need to be and are not taking control over the diverse range of variables. Give me a driven parent who maintains their vision any day.

As parents, as we contemplate the futures of our children we all face a diverse range of variables, but if we create the vision, take control, become empowered and proactive and “yes,” the more we apply the right stuff, the right way the more we begin to control variables and can not only imagine the future, but actually start to create it.

The perception will help drive the reality.

Create the vision and control the variables.

– Bob


In previous posts I have introduced some of our children with great processing skills. I just finished a Skype evaluation and wanted to show everyone once again what great potential our children have and to encourage all of you parents and professionals to raise your expectations.

I would like to introduce you to another of our NACD kids, little Facundo from Uruguay. Facundo has Down Syndrome, but he and his family are not letting it slow him down. Facundo’s parents have been doing a great job with this terrific little guy who just turned three. As you can see from the video, Facundo is processing four pieces in a sequence better than most of his typical peers and doing it in English, which he has just begun learning.

To put this in perspective most typical children do not have this level of processing ability until they are four going on five years old. Facundo did it while hearing/processing the sequence in English—a foreign language for him. He then mentally translates each word one at a time to Spanish to locate it, then point to it, then translate the name back to English to name it, then remember the sequence in English, picks out the next word in English, translates it to Spanish, finds it—and so on and so forth—doing that whole process four times. If you’re not impressed, you should be—this is one very smart boy!

Potential has a lot to do with a vision. As parents and as professionals if we do not have a vision for our child that is high, the odds are that we are never going to help them achieve anything close to their innate potential. This is a universal truth, whether we have a typical child or a child with some issues. We need to raise the bar, believe that all of our children have fantastic potentials and work to provide them with the opportunities needed to achieve that potential.

You start with a vision.