Progress not Perfection

From the second our babies are born we are teaching them independence. The goal is to grow up…right? And thankfully, most skills are just learned through observation.

They don’t need to be taught. Especially if you have an older sibling.

They see it done a few times and before you know it your toddler is using a spoon or sitting on the toilet.

With this amazing kid it was different. Skills didn’t come naturally. Anything new was resisted.

There was no…’I’ll do it myself.’ No independence.

At age 8 we still dress him, put on his shoes, bath him, wipe him, feed him. That’s our reality.

Jamie and I had many conversations about the baby arriving. And what care would be like for them simultaneously.

Dressing them both side-by-side. Bathing them. Feeding one yogurt from a spoon and the other one baby food. Shoes, clothes, wiping mouths.

It was scary to think about in a way. Because it’s not two babies. It’s a baby and an 8 year old. And it’s long-term.

We knew a day would come when the baby would pass Cooper by in some areas. And I’ll admit, that stung the worst.

Well, over the past few months, all of his hard word, and the hard work of countless therapists, has paid off.

Cooper is now dressing himself almost fully independently. He picks out his clothes. He even puts them on.

Yes, he has a few struggles because his hands and legs don’t always work like they should. Shirts are on inside out and backwards. Socks don’t match. And we don’t care at all! Because he’s doing it.

He’s being independent. I am so proud of him.

Don’t give up moms and dads.

Keep moving forward. Every day. Model. Push independence. Do hand-over-hand. Even when you are tired.

Encourage your kid to pull their pants up. Pick out their clothes. Anything. Every day.

Keep your child involved. Don’t let them tune on. You got this. I promise.

Progress not perfection. Remember that.

And, Cooper claps as soon as he is dressed. Pretty amazing if you ask me.

PS. I learned later in the day that Cooper had taken ALL the clothes out of his dresser and put them in his closet….you just have to smile. He’s dressing himself. And that’s what matters to us.

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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When my son was first diagnosed with autism no one was talking about it. Autism was hidden. I vow to change that.
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