Karen Hahne will probably never forget the advice she was given by a caseworker when she adopted her son Reed more 30 years ago. “Love him, but don’t expect much.” Most likely the advice was given with good intentions, but little information to go on regarding the potential of a child with Down syndrome. Luckily for Reed, Hahne wasn’t good at taking bad advice no matter how well intended. Instead, she made the decision to expect a lot from him.
“I went to a conference on Down syndrome in Washington, D.C. and listened to a presentation by Rud Turnbull, an expert in the field,” Hahne said. “He told us to close our eyes and think of the highest accomplishment he [Reed] could ever make. Then he told us to open our eyes and double that and then we would be close to his potential.”