Autism changes the way you measure progress. It’s near impossible to compare your child with a “neurotypical” kid. If you try, you’re just going to see the ways in which your child falls short and that’s a disservice to you as a parent and your child as a person. So, normal progress charts are thrown out. Your victories are small and hard fought and usually short-lived, but when it happens, when that one thing you’ve been working on finally clicks, goodness does it feel amazing.
We’ve lived together as a family for almost a year and it feels like no time at all until I think about the boys last summer and the tiny changes we’ve made. Things that may not seem like much on the big scale, but in our house they were monuments. Little things that make me feel like a good parent, even when my throat is about hoarse from screaming and I’m looking at the dog’s crate as a reasonable timeout zone.
Charlie eats vegetables now. Before, if it was green, it wasn’t eaten. Now I can make him a salad and he’s happy. Right now he’s tearing up some baby carrots. 10 months ago, those would sit on the plate all night. But I’ve seen him finish carrots before his chips. It warms my tiny, food group loving heart.