When It Comes to My Son With Autism, No Victory Is Too Small


When my son approached one of his peers at the end of the school day and said, “Bye, Jamie,” my heart melted. I couldn’t believe what I had witnessed. Not only has my son never shown interest in other children, he has never independently gone out of his way to talk to another child without prompting. As we left his classroom, I gave him a big hug. What a moment!

Max struggles in the speech and language department and he has little social communication skills. He is capable of sharing his wants and needs, his disdain for certain foods and his love for riding escalators and shopping carts. He likes to sing. However, the one thing I yearn for is to have a conversation with Max — but it’s not a skill he has at this time. So when he recently asked to play with my iPad, I told him he could play with it another time as it was up in my bedroom. He stopped what he was doing and said, “Mommy, go get it please.” I nearly fell over, I was stunned.

 

I’m not so big on my son occupying his time with the iPad, but on this occasion, I raced up to my bedroom to retrieve it. I wanted to reward him, he deserved it.

What may seem small to most was huge to me. I was thrilled. A spontaneous and meaningful conversation! It was short, but a first step, a small victory.

Some of us who parent kids on the autism spectrum have come to see what may seem ordinary, as our extraordinary.

Celebrating the small victories matters. It gives us another reason to stay positive and to feel excited about our children. Yes, our kids have their challenges, but they also have their strengths. Every achievement is a victory and another step in the right direction.

So the next time your child does something big or small, celebrate! Do a happy dance. Share the news with a loved one or just step back and enjoy the moment.

What small victory are you celebrating today?

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Thinkstock image by yaruta


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