Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Not So Small Victory

It was a good day.

When you have a child with autism, statements like that can be few and far between.

You learn to measure success in very different ways.  At day's end, you learn to think back over how it went and pick out the big and little things that happened.  You learn not to take anything for granted.  And, you learn to celebrate things like you never did before.

When I picked Lily up from her school today, the therapists were very excited to share something with me.

Every day after lunch is finished, the kiddos are supposed to wipe their mouths with a napkin and then throw it in the trash can.

This is a multi-step direction, something that can be very difficult for children on the spectrum, especially considering you have to walk to the trash can - it's not right in front of you.  It's also hard for Lily because she has a significant receptive speech delay, meaning she doesn't understand everything she is being told.

Lily always needs to be reminded and more often than not, has to have help wiping her mouth, walking to the trash can, and dropping it in.

Well, today was different.

One of her therapists said, "Lily, throw the napkin in the trash."

And I want you to know, my baby stood up from her chair, wiped her mouth with the napkin, walked it over to the trash can, and threw it in!!!

Like she'd been doing it all her life.

Whoop Whoop!  Woohooo!  YAY!  Go Lily.... Go Lily!

This was no small victory and it was celebrated!

Now, does that mean we can assume she has mastered that skill and will do it every day after lunch from now on?


She may not do it again for weeks.  That's another hallmark of autism - carry over of skills is fleeting.  It's also a hallmark of teenagers, but that's another story!

But we don't think about that.  It's one day at a time around here, and today, we celebrate!

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."  (Matthew 6:34, The Message)

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