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Probably Nothing

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probably nothing, parenting, special needs, cindi ferrini, grace based parenting, family matters, dr. tim kimmel


A high school friend and I had sons around the same time with many of the same special needs; however as time went on, there were differences, and at one point my friend recalls asking me, “When Joey started walking, what did you do that therapy wasn’t doing?” She told me she was prepared to take notes when I responded, “Probably nothing.” Not much encouragement, but simply the truth, and I’m thankful she recalls  the comment giving her freedom from the pressure she felt to make things happen.


For those of us helping our children through years of ongoing therapies (which often include occupational, speech, and physical for starters) we know that even when we take the assignment seriously and work with our child at home as well as what they do at therapy, there are times that reality will hit our heart and remind us they were just ready for the next step with or without our help. That doesn’t mean we totally quit or just stop  helping, but it might mean we take a little break until their mind and body adjust to whatever they’ll need to learn next.


I recall trying to teach Joey the colors red and white with towels I hung on the bathroom towel rack across from the toilet. While he sat to go to the bathroom, we would practice knowing his colors. NOT! For months and months I did this. For months he wasn’t potty trained (until after age 5, actually!) and he didn’t know his colors for a lot longer. So I quit the colors and stayed faithful to the potty training!


Was it months or years later, I don’t recall…..but there was Joey touching the color circles on the game of TWISTER with his sisters. HE KNEW HIS COLORS! How did that happen? I don’t really know! But was it me? What did I do to help him get to know all those colors?


Probably nothing.



How about you? Do you feel pressure to have your child meet a skill or goal by a certain age? Or do you just let them learn at their own pace?  Even more so, do you pressure them in their spirituality or do you let their hearts open up on their own time?  Tell us in the comments section below!

Joe and Cindi Ferrini

Joe and Cindi have been married since 1979, live in Cleveland, OH, have 3 grown children (one with special needs), grandchildren, and enjoy speaking and writing together on topics related to marriage and family (FAMILYLIFE’S “WEEKEND TO REMEMBER Get-A-Ways” as well as for organizations pertaining to special needs), leadership, and time/life management. Joe has practiced dentistry since 1978; Cindi enjoys writing (books, blogs, articles, etc.), speaking, radio, and social media. Together they have written articles and blogs for Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, and here at FamilyMatters, and authored UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: When Special Needs Change our Course. They’d love to connect with you at: or



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