'It's impossible', said pride,

'It's risky', said experience,

'It's pointless', said reason,

'But, give it a try', said the heart.

Fear of the unknown is a very powerful thing when you are the parent to a child with special needs.  

There are already so many unknowns in our child’s life that we often fail to be good risk takers when it comes to our children.   

We only like to gamble on the absolute, the certain, which is comfortable and familiar.

But if we fall into what I fall the ‘comfort zone trap’ we fail to grow, and most importantly our children fail to grow.  

Even though we have the best of intentions we unknowingly are further limiting their childhood experiences and our experiences together as a family.  

We can sometimes look at a product and assume based on a picture it just won’t work.  

And sometimes financial factors come into play with those types of decisions too – why risk it if it’s not a sure bet.  

Or we’re unwilling to consider a family vacation, or to even attend a new event because we don’t know if our children are capable of handling it, will like doing it, or if we’ll be met with too many obstacles along the way to make it possible.

We over think every situation until we convince ourselves it won’t work – no matter sometimes what it is.  

The risk, in our minds, isn’t worth it.  

However, blazing uncharted territory and facing the fear of the unknown can be the healthiest and most rewarding step you and your family can take.  

One that leads you straight to the path towards family participation and an entire new level of freedom as a special needs family.

When we decide to take that brave step and dare to try, we can open entirely new doors that we never dreamed were possible.  

We are already incredible risk managers without even really recognizing it.  

We manage the risks of medications, medical procedures, exploring new technology or therapies, and without sometimes a second thought. 

There is no magic formula to taking risks and finding the courage to attempt new things.  

But with careful preparation and thought you’ll find that you can make the impossible be possible.  

Start simple.  

Dare to try a new event.  

Maybe that means venturing out just for an hour to a concert, a circus, a local zoo or museum or sporting event that you’ve never been to with your child who has special needs. 

Maybe it starts out just trying a new piece of adaptive equipment that would allow for new family participation adventures.

And with a bit of courage and determination it could lead to the vacation of a lifetime, or opening new doors of endless possibility.  

Enriching and memorable family participation opportunities are within in reach if we all only dare to try. 

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