Skip to Content

Published on March 21, 2014

What Not To Say

March 21, 2014

woman covering her mouthBy choosing your words carefully, you can extend kindness and support to families with special needs members. Here are a few phases to avoid.

“I don’t know how you do it.”

Parents with special-needs children have the same weaknesses, strengths, and wants as all other parents. Ask them to share their feelings and experiences with you. You could both learn something.

“We’re never given more than we can handle.”

Saying this sends the message that families with special-needs children need to buck up and carry on, and that their hardships are either imagined or do not count. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, ask how you can be a better friend or family member to them or offer to take over for an evening so the parents can get some much-needed personal time.

“You should try…”

Often, those who care for special-needs children conduct exhaustive research into their conditions and work with several healthcare professionals to decide what the best course of treatment. Parents may be open to discussing their children’s conditions respectfully, but it is not your place to tell them what they should or shouldn’t do. If you learn something new or interesting about a condition someone you know is living with, bring up the topic conversationally. Ask the parents what they think about what you have learned, and respect their opinion. Odds are they know more about this than you do. 

Footer Curve