This is going to come out silly and sappy. Fair thee be warned, I am prone to episodes of this. There are worse things I could be prone to episodes of.

When a parent, be they a special needs parent or not, tells me about something their child accomplishes I cheer. This means that there are things I cheer about that people who do not deal with the special needs community regularly might think are weird. 

I cheer first words, actions, foods… I cheer new things done by children who have strict aversions to the new and unfamiliar.

I cheer a young adult with autism making their way into the world and finding success.

I cheer for a child who eats with gusto after a lifetime of meals equating with horror and pain.

I cheer a child swinging gleefully where such motion would elicit terror before.

I cheer for all of our children. These accomplishments may seem small or silly to some and other accomplishments may seem huge yet all of them deserve cheering for. And I love doing it.

It’s okay to cheer. It’s okay to be excited over something that others may not understand the excitement over. Whether they take the time to learn context or not, you know it. Whether our children outwardly display response to our praise or excitement, they know. Their words may be lacking but their hearts and minds miss so very little. They deserve to celebrate their accomplishments and it’s our job, as the grown-ups and trusted people in their lives, to teach them how. That feeling of success inspires the drive for more success despite every setback that may be met along the way.

Every time they fall, I’ll be there to pick them up even if it is with just a word because I know soon enough it will be time to cheer again.