Checking Life’s Milestones Off The List

Do you do that? Do you keep a mental tally of the things you hope your child will successfully do and give yourself a pat on the back when they accomplish something?

I sure did. Maybe it’s because they (doctors, society) harbor on it so much during a child’s first year. Did hold their head up, roll over, sit up, crawl, stand etc.–all within their first twelve months of life. Yikes that’s a lot.  

So then we are conditioned to keep a mental tally maybe? Are they walking, talking, then potty trained, reading, tying their shoes, riding a bike? It’s a never ending list and a lot of pressure.  Add to that, when children are delayed for any reason, the pressure society then places on parents. When you have a special needs child the list gets even longer–making sure you get in your therapy sessions, checking insurance, hitting IEP goals and more.

I added a lot to the list. I suspect many parents do. Maybe we are trying to help our children find their niche. Maybe we are making them do the things we didn’t get to do? Maybe we just want to be able to keep up with the Jones in a conversation.  

We tried everything. Baseball, basketball, hockey, karate, tae kwon do (yes it’s different), soccer, football, boys scouts, piano lessons, art classes, science center classes, library groups, theatre camp, and a dozen other things. I’m exhausted just typing them all.  

We are working on another milestone at our house. We have been looking at colleges. It’s another big milestone for sure – and one of the last to check off my list. Yes, there are many adult things they have to do on their own yet but learning all there is to know about applying for college and finding the right college is quite daunting.  As it is for all parents, it’s scary. But similar to many of the milestones above, that sometimes parents of special needs children don’t know if their kids are going to even be able to do, each one seems extra special!

The other piece of this equation though, will be when there are no more milestones to check off the list. That’s another blog post though! For now, let’s all celebrate every milestone because each one is amazing!

Pam is the Executive Director of the Orange Effect Foundation. She worked in the marketing field for the past 10 years, serving as Chief Operations Officer for Content Marketing Institute. During that time she found her passion to build and lead amazing teams because of the commitment of the staff at CMI. Pam also helped to create Content Marketing World, an event where over 3500 marketers come together annually to learn and network with the best and brightest. Pam's background is in social work, and she is raising a son with autism so the opportunity to start and direct this nonprofit is a dream come true. She has been a key leader in the CMI Golf for Autism the past 11 years and a champion for many other nonprofit organizations.
  1. Janis A.

    Hi Pam, from my view, you and your husband have been doing a wonderful job as parents to both your boys. Your thoughtful, supportive ways in raising them shows in their accomplishments. You are great examples to other parents in similar family situations.