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Moments of success, no matter how big or small are celebrated in our house.
Success doesn’t mean cure
There is a lot of debate in the autism community about “cure” vs. “acceptance.” I’m not firmly in one camp or the other. With acceptance comes a desire to alleviate my kiddo from some of the things she struggles with daily. It breaks my heart when she struggles with language, or comes home crying because although we practiced over and over, she flunked another spelling test. I suppose parents would say they don’t want to see their kids struggle, however, in our daughter’s case, she has more obstacles.
Success comes in mere moments
Today, Nats reminded me that success sometimes comes in moments, and we have to embrace them. My daugher is a Special Olympics athlete, and as a fundraiser, they collect can tabs. She is also a Girl Scout. Using her problem solving skills, Nats asked her troop to collect can tabs. She also asked our church — it was her idea.
I don’t know at her age, if I would have been confident enough to make the ask. Tonight she came home with a ton of tabs (and some money people donated). We rarely see a smile that’s genuine. Sure, she will put on a smile for the sake of a picture, but a genuine smile is rare. We took a picture today because she asked, and was proud of her accomplishment.
Like many special needs parents, I spend a lot of time managing — paperwork, services, therapies, and so on. Interacting with so many professionals, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of all that Nats can’t do. And, if I’m being completely honest, those thoughts can take me to a dark place.
Today I was reminded of what Nats CAN do, and that her heart is a better measure of her abilities than any standardized test.