It’s a small world

Back when I had my first round of children, I had great dreams for them. I just knew they’d be concert pianists or famous actresses or….who knew what?

The days and weeks and months and years passed and they did many wonderful things–got awards, graduated from college, produced healthy children. These accomplishments were duly noted and applauded. They may not as been as significant, on the scale of other children I knew, who were being accepted to Princeton, or competing in national music events or starring in every community theatre production, but I didn’t push them, either, the way some parents do, to the brink of breakdown. It was all right.  They were happy and healthy and content.

What we look for now (and I notice it often in other blogs of parents of autistic children) are small things. Actions that demonstrate mastery, or maturity. It IS all about the small things.  Like:

*This week when I made a grocery run, we left the groceries on the table when I got home because there were several other imminent tasks, like getting the laundry off the line and sending the boys to the shower. When we came back Little Miss had put all the groceries away. No one had asked her. She just knew that’s what had to be done, and did it.

*Little Miss left her spelling words at school, and though she teared up as usual when she’s frustrated, she suggested instead that she could spell out ten country’s names. And she did. (Initiating a solution to a problem!!)

She really has done better on the ADD medication, and the advances she makes seem to stick longer and lead to more conversation/understanding/accomplishment, even after we’ve discontinued her wraparound therapy.

These are small things.  But we’re just as grateful as if she was a first row violinist at Carnegie Hall. Brava, my little one (who at 9, is nearly tall as me!)!  Brava!

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14 thoughts on “It’s a small world

  1. Pingback: Daily News About Autism : A few links about Autism - Wednesday, 20 May 2009 18:10

  2. Indeed it should be the small things in life that matter the most. Well spoken and even better that you noticed the small things that count. Most parents don’t.

  3. Неоднократно доводилось читать подобные посты на англоязычных блогах, но это не значит что ваш пост мне не понравился

  4. Not to be mean, but this post kinda upsets me. I’m sorry that none of your “normal” children met your expectations. No, we didn’t go to ivy league schools. No, we didn’t become famous actors or do anything “amazing”. I’m not sure what you would consider getting scouted by the Biltmore. I’m not sure what you would consider going to school and raising 3 kids of your own while holding down a job and graduating valedictorian. I’m not sure what you would call starting up a grassroots environmental education non-profit that has served over 20,000 students in it’s community in under 2 years.

    I understand that it’s different with your new batch, but when you write posts like this, some of us “normal” kids with “normal” feelings feel like you think we are failures. I wish you would be more sensitive to that. No offense, but I think what we are doing with our lives is pretty effing amazing even if you think it’s “normal”.

  5. Considering how many people I see in my line of work who have totally wrecked their lives, I’m extremely pleased with each of you. For every superachiever, there’s someone in the depths of despair. Being a well-adjusted, happy, ambitious and satisfied person isn’t just “normal.” It is amazing.

    But you’ve reminded us of the struggle so many of us with special needs kids have in remembering the others while our time’s being sucked dry. Thanks for leaving your note!

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