Achievements Are Achievements No Matter How Small

How many of us have been taught how to measure our children’s achievements in first steps, rolling over, language, communication of some sort? Some achievements happen right before our eyes, unrecognized as a hurdle over a hill. Think about a child sitting down to do homework, what about sitting down to complete homework alone? The first sleepover…you get the picture.

But for children with special needs, the achievements may look very different. For us, for our children, it could be the first time they get dressed alone, the first time they’re able to wear that red shirt with a tag, be in a crowded room, speak a full sentence. Today, rather yesterday when you’re reading this, my son had two and I’d like to share them with you.

First, he had a presentation. A presentation is a difficult thing for him; understanding why he’s doing this, what it’s about, memorizing words in the right order, not to mention the people around him. With the routine of the day in disarray, there’s a great deal for him to overcome. Yet he did. By all reports, he gave his presentation on Christopher Reeve multiple times, to multiple people; he did it in order and clearly. He was the Superman he was presenting. I am so proud.

After, school, I looked at his eyes. Blood red. Redder than from the lack of sleep that exists in his life. He went with me on an errand. His behavior the final indicator, the wail that only comes with strep, the eyes that only come with strep…told me strep. The fourth time in 5 months. But this would be my next proud moment.

See, J can’t handle the oral antibiotics. His stomach just can’t stomach them, so he has to have a bicillian injection. What that means is 3 adults holding him down on his stomach to get a painful shot in the bum. Screaming, crying, fear, more wailing. All justifiable and expected. This time, a slight protest. No wail, not even a wince. Only two of us and neither of us holding him down. Just a slight stiffness when the injection made contact. Nothing more.

Is all this learned? Maybe. Is this memorized, the recognition of actions needed to get through or coping mechanisms kicking in? Whatever it is, he’s made it through an extremely tough day with his Superman still in tact. I’m so proud.

I would love to hear something that’s made you proud recently.

(If you didn’t catch it, this is my post on 5 Minutes for Special Needs today…give it a look–>)

Gina St. Aubin
Gina St. Aubin is a former Victim’s Advocate who now advocates for those with intellectual and physical challenges. Her eldest son is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Electrical Status Epilepticus during Sleep / Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a rare epileptic disorder causing verbal aphasia) and Developmental Delays. In June, 2012, her son also underwent a successful hemispherectomy. Gina is the editor, author and owner of Special Happens, serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the SPD Foundation, and resides in Colorado where she is a mother of 3, wife, blogger, writer and special needs advocate. You can reach Gina through various Special Happens connections on Facebook and Twitter, or email her directly.
Gina St. Aubin
Gina St. Aubin

5 Responses to Achievements Are Achievements No Matter How Small

  1. I love it…it is so true..:) I posted this recent video of my son on you tube:
    my sister was horrified because she thought I was making fun of him. I attempted to explain that this vaccuum session was victorious for us, because typically when I pull the vaccuum out he typically gets combative, aggressive, and screams. This was a beautiful achievement…..:)

    • That is an achievement. I think sometimes it’s harder for others to understand exactly how small of achievements are so big for our kiddos. Thanks for the video.

  2. Over the past few months, Griffin (my 13 year old autistic son) has made some great strides. He started middle school, began doing his homework (partially)on his own, and he even started to read for pleasure.

    Most parents of 13 year olds may chuckle about how proud these make us. But for him, these are monumental achievements.

    • BD- I sit back and re-read your words. What wonderful accomplishments…I’m especially touched that he reads for pleasure. WHAT an accomplishment! These certainly are monumental!

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