It can be hard as a parent not to compare your child to someone else’s. This goes for all parents, regardless of whether their child has special needs. However, when your child does have special needs, their developmental milestones can be on a schedule all their own. If your child is not walking, talking, feeding themselves, writing or doing other things at the same time as their peers, it can be disheartening.
Remember that every child is unique and does things at their own pace. Meet your child at their level and provide support and encouragement to help them grow. Whenever they do have an accomplishment – celebrate! It does not matter when they said their first word or buttoned their shirt by themselves, but rather the fact that they succeeded in doing it on their own. It can be frustrating, but realize that you will have to be flexible and adjust your expectations. Your kiddo may not follow the path you envisioned, but they are making their own trail and that can be an amazing thing.
There can always be something to celebrate if you look at it with the right perspective. What someone else considers a normal activity could be a huge accomplishment for your child and something you are very proud of. Even if you (or your child) is having a rough day, try to look for the positives. For example:
- Waiting their turn without having a meltdown
- Trying a new food
- Throwing or catching a ball
- Pushing a button to make a toy turn on
- Making eye contact when talking
- Initiating a conversation
Focus on your child’s individual abilities and what they’ve been working on. Every day may not be a huge milestone, but every little step counts. Find reason to celebrate and support your child in being more successful through occupational therapy, speech therapy, or an assortment of other services at PediaPlex.
Share with us on Facebook what little (or big!) accomplishments you’re celebrating so we can celebrate with you!