When it Comes to 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 the slightest shred of 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 couldn’t help but give him a big hug. What a moment!

Max has always been quite delayed in the speech and language department and he has very 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 even likes to sing. However, the one thing I yearn for is to have a conversation with Max – but it’s just 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 (In all honesty, I was too lazy to get it). 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.

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

We learn that it may take many years for our kids to understand how to do ordinary things. When they finally do them, we come to see that what may seem ordinary, is 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?