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.