An entire day without a tantrum, a meltdown, or Mom’s nervous breakdown.
When my kids pick up a new word.
When their new word is NOT a swear word.
When the kids use their new word appropriately…even if it is just added to a rehearsed sentence starter like “I want___, please.”
Having understanding and supportive family and friends
Any outing, even if just to the grocery store, that did not end in tears, bloodshed, potty accident, people asking us to leave, and a screaming car ride home (could be referring to Mom or kids). You know you are clearly picturing this right now.
My picky eater trying a new food.
My non-sleepers sleeping and allowing me to sleep through the night.
Finding a food that the entire family will eat and fits into everyone’s special diets, instead a different meal for everyone.
Refrigerator art work. <3
When my child truly gets a new concept.
Homework without a fight.
Crying during a cartoon with my child tearing up next to me showing me that they understood the emotion being conveyed. (HUGE!)
My 9 year old going potty on the potty. Then hoping that he one day he goes poop on the potty.
Sign language, PECS, struggling words, and other means of communication that my child uses to interact.
The amount of effort my child puts into every day in attempt to fit in, to function, and to be heard.
Catching and redirecting before my child resorts to physical aggression.
Good notes home from teachers that are just as excited for your child’s growth and success as you are.
Being able to get the mail and NOT finding another write-up notice for behaviors on the bus.
Speech pathologists that “get it.”
Awesome Occupational Therapists and their sensory diets.
NOT getting that dreaded phone call that my child gave his teacher a concussion or broke the bus driver’s nose with his head butting. (Both really happened when my son was only 6.)
Making it to the end of the school day without having to pick them up early from school.
Not arriving at school to see 6 security guards and teachers surrounding my child to keep them and those around them safe. (Again, really happened… and happened more than once.)
Friends that listen and tell you that you are a great Mom, no matter how much you feel a like you are failing.
Family photos… even if they require Photoshopping a child into the photo that could not sit well with the group.
Understanding that the word “clean” is a relative term.
Belly laughs and giggles.
Making friends with all of the people that understand my kids the most…their Special Education teachers, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Speech Pathologists, School Psychologists, special need bus drivers, Behaviorists, etc.
A dinner out like a normal family WITHOUT the whispers, pointing, judging, and staring of others… or just acting like you don’t notice it all going on.
Being able to pretend I do not overhear other parents use words like “syndromey,” “problem,” “retarded,” or “that child” when discussing my child. (Sadly, I have heard them all.)
People that recognize that an Autism tantrum does not equal a child being bad.
A friend for my child.
A friend for my child that adapts play so that my child can participate and feel part of the group.
Listening to my kids read.
Remembering that behavior IS communication when you have no words.
My child’s “team” working together to run a super productive IEP meeting where every member is happy with the outcome.
Being invited to friends and family members’ homes even when they know the path of destruction we leave behind.
Learning to appreciate and applaud EVERY single accomplishment as if it is the hugest milestone.
Love that fruit snacks and high 5’s still work as rewards.
Remembering that a stubborn child is a child that will never give up.
When my child makes me repeat him just as I have had him repeat me…even if what he wants me to repeat is not even a word.
My child working hard to get Mom to understand their world.
When my child smiles.
Getting to hear “I love you” from my kids…even if I had to prompt it with a sign.
When my child truly is proud of him/herself for something they accomplished.
Knowing at the end of my day that even if we don’t look like a “normal” family, that I worked my hardest, my kids tried the best, and we survived the day.
Getting to be a regular Mom and enjoying precious time with my kids.