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10 Milestones and Moments Worth Celebrating

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When you are a special needs parent, you quickly learn that the little things are a very big deal. It may be the first clap, wave or word. They are always the simple things that many parents overlook like coloring within the lines or saying “I love you” for the first time. There is no such thing as a small accomplishment. I’ve learned never to take a moment for granted.

And we celebrate each milestone and moment with words of praise and great enthusiasm. It’s always exciting when I see my seven year old Norrin achieve something for the first time. With each milestone, I am reminded at how far he’s come and how hard he’s worked.

Here are just a few of our moments…

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  • Pointing His Finger 1 of 10
    Pointing His Finger
    One of the early signs of autism was that Norrin wasn't able to point his finger. We spent the first few months of Early Intervention working on that. It was one of the first goals he achieved and it was a significant moment.
  • First Day of School 2 of 10
    First Day of School
    Every parent imagines sending their child off for their first day of school. We just didn't imagine that the first day would come so soon. We put Norrin on the bus when he was two years old. Norrin didn't cry or look back. (I may have cried a little bit.)
  • Putting Together a 42 Piece Puzzle 3 of 10
    Putting Together a 42 Piece Puzzle
    When Norrin was diagnosed with autism, he had no language and his skills were extremely limited. However, we soon learned how bright he was and how good he was at puzzles. The first time he completed this 42-piece puzzle with no assistance, we hooted and hollered as if we won the lottery. When new therapists would come over and give Norrin a 6 or 12-piece puzzle, my husband and I would smile as Norrin put together the puzzle in seconds. "We're up to 42 piece puzzles," we'd brag.
  • First Kiss 4 of 10
    First Kiss
    I got my first real kiss from Norrin on Christmas day, 2008. It is the best Christmas gift I ever got.
  • Reading Independently 5 of 10
    Reading Independently
    There was a time when we were uncertain if Norrin would ever speak. To hear him read whole books and to know that he enjoys doing so, always makes me smile.
  • Jumping 6 of 10
    Jumping
    For a long time Norrin couldn't jump. We spent more than a year teaching him. Now we can't get Norrin to stop jumping.
  • Coloring & Cutting 7 of 10
    Coloring & Cutting
    Up until recently, coloring and cutting wasn't Norrin's thing. It was something that just frustrated him. And while pencil grasp and fine motor coordination, still remains a challenge for him he now enjoys it so much, I have to hide the scissors.
  • Making a Friend 8 of 10
    Making a Friend
    It is difficult for Norrin to play and connect with his peers. And often when there's a group of kids, he prefers to be alone. But there are a few kids whose company he enjoys. I've always said, Norrin doesn't need to be the popular kid, he just needs one kid who gets him.
  • Excited About Halloween 9 of 10
    Excited About Halloween
    When Norrin was first diagnosed with autism, we were told he lacked imaginative play skills. I can't imagine childhood without pretend play. Over the years we've watched Norrin's imagination emerge and expand. Last year was the first year he understood the concept of Halloween (my husband's favorite holiday). Norrin enjoyed dressing up and he had fun pretending to be someone else.
  • First Roller Coaster Ride 10 of 10
    First Roller Coaster Ride
    Having a child with special needs, it's easy to be over protective. And sometimes, I keep Norrin from doing new things because I worry. My husband is the complete opposite he encourages Norrin to always try new things. Last summer, they went on their first roller coaster ride. Norrin had so much fun he asked to do it again. This was as much a milestone for Norrin as it was for me I let go.

What milestones and moments do you celebrate?

Read more of Lisa’s writing at AutismWonderland.

And don’t miss a post! Follow Lisa on Twitter and Facebook!

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