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What Will You Accomplish Today?

March 8, 2011
By Maria Spencer

When you think about the word "accomplishment" what comes to mind? A football game victory? A term paper completed? Many things can start to flood our minds.

But when my 11-year-old son, Jonah, was asked to write a paragraph for his language arts class that outlined the accomplishment of his or of someone he knew, he automatically thought of his little sister. In a heart-felt, simple, 10-sentence paragraph, he described how she accomplished learning how to ride a horse. He described how even though she has a disability, she proved to herself and others that she could do it. As I read it, I realized that my own perception of what it means to accomplish something was very limited - because if someone would have told me when she was a baby that she would learn to ride a horse at age seven, I wouldn't have even been able to imagine it. In my small scope of her abilities at the time, I didn't have any faith to see the unseen.

But since I've been on this journey for awhile now, I look forward to her next acquired skill. Learning to ride a horse may be out of the scope of progress for your child right now, but it was right in line for where she was functioning at the time.

One definition of accomplishment is "any acquired ability or knowledge."


In the typical world, this means that absolutely anything can become an accomplishment, but I feel when our kids achieve a goal, the impact it has on them and those who care for them takes that definition to a whole new level.

I know one special family that had reason to celebrate when their non-verbal son started spelling words to communicate with them. Up until that point, his parents had no idea he was able to spell at all. The simple task of spelling words took on a whole new meaning to the word accomplishment the day their son finally started to speak through those letters.

And for another family, simply taking one foot and putting it in front of the other with assistance became an instant breath of fresh air for their child's future.

Our special kids have taught us to take nothing for granted - a focused gaze, a step, a sound - they all count as miracles. I firmly believe that part of the reason our kids were put on this earth is to teach all of us to take in each day each movement, each word of those typically developing kids in our lives. They do things each and every day automatically that our kids would consider huge accomplishments.

Take note of all the amazing things your special child has accomplished and no matter how slow or how fast goals get met, know that each and every tiny step towards their goal is a big deal. And know that as special parents, getting them the services and supports that they need is one of the main reasons they accomplish even the smallest task.

My prayer for you and your family this month is that you will recognize any accomplishment as a reason to celebrate, and you will focus on how far your special child has come, rather than how far they have to go. Remember, you were chosen for this special parenthood. Because of your continual love and determination, your child can accomplish anything. Be proud of yourself!



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