The Importance of Personal Best

Special needs children are like runners. Runners are one of the best groups I know as far as understanding what, “personal best,” really means. I can’t count how many times I’ve watched someone come yelling and cheering with excitement for losing a race. You look at them like they’ve gone mad, until they explained they cut a whole minute off their time. Well then, that’s a big deal! Once they explain you all celebrate together, because you don’t have to be the best to be awesome. You just have to keep getting better. So, what’s my point?

Special needs children have one or more areas where they just can’t win the race. It’s not about how hard they try, or how hard their parents try to support them. It has little to do with the quality of their medical team. We’re all coaches, and they have to keep pushing for the best they can do. So, celebrate when a four year old finally learns to walk. Cheer the child that drinks from a bottle for the first time at seven months old. Congratulate the middle schooler that learns to read a clock and count money after years of studying.

Sure, you’ll look at them a little funny at first. After that first second, I hope you’ll realize that these accomplishments are no less grand than any others. In fact, they may be even more glorious for the effort required to obtain them.

5 responses

  1. This is a great way to think about it. I believe it is true of all children but especially when they have had an obstruction to overcome that others don’t.
    I celebrate every little achievement with my kids, and try my very best not to look at their peers to see what level they are at in comparison. I believe as human beings be all differ so vastly and our skill sets are so varied that there is no point at all in trying to reach milestones at the same time as everyone else.
    I am a runner and often just getting your trainers on and making it out of the door is as great an achievement as running 10k so find this post very relatable.
    I’ve enjoyed your posts and our chats recently. I have nominated you for the Sisterhood Award. You can see my post here. No offence taken if you don’t participate in them though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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