Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Celebrating the Small Victories
When you have a child that has special needs, even the smallest amount of progress they make can seem monumental. On Sunday morning, Dominic put this message on our fridge.
The money I invested in these plastic magnetic letters have more than paid for themselves many, many times. I told Dominic the "menu" options and he decided he wanted two waffles. I told him where they were and he got himself his own breakfast, even pouring the syrup! Dominic literally was eating the entire day - he must be going through a growth spurt. He goes to religious education class on Sunday nights and as we were heading out the door, he said, "thirsty." I knew it would be a while until he could get a drink, so we turned around and he drank a quick glass of water. We were a few minutes late to his class, but his teacher is very understanding, so it wasn't an issue. Dominic has a favorite pair of pajamas that he wanted to wear to bed Sunday night. As I saw him searching through his dresser for them, I explained to him they were in the dirty clothes. He looked at me and said, "washing machine." I was so happy that he told me that. For him to put that kind of a complex thought together - knowing that something dirty needed to be cleaned in the washing machine, might not seem like a big deal, but for Dominic it was a small victory!! I promised him that the laundry "staff" would take care of it as soon as possible. As Lauren, the hubby and I were giving him his good night kisses, he said "bellyache." That didn't surprise me at all, given the amount of food the boy consumed during the day!!! Even though I felt a little sad that his belly hurt, for him to tell us how he felt, which is a very hard thing for children with Autism to do was HUGE!! Monday morning, Dominic decided it would be funny to pull the sheets off his bed. He's been thinking it's hilarious for several months and I usually just make the bed back up when he does that. Lauren has been saying, "make him do it!" Monday night, when it was time for him to go to bed, I told him to make his own bed. I left him alone and when the three of us came in to give him his kisses, he had made it up himself! Lauren said, "he did his sheet inside out." I told her that was fine, at least he did it!! Since Dominic had a day off from school today, we went on a "field trip" to Target and Kroger. This is what he wrote on the fridge when I told him we were going to Kroger. We were out of milk too!!
There was a time back when he was younger that the thought of going to one store, let alone two would give me an instant headache/stomachache from anxiety because of his sensory issues. Dominic was great at both stores and even helped me load the groceries into the car and helped me unload them at home. He remarked, "heavy" when he carried one of the bags in. It kind of was :) Celebrate those small victories with your children whether they have special needs or not and no matter what the age. We certainly do in this house!