I Can Do It Myself!

As Katie has grown up we have had both moments of clarity where we are absolutely sure she is displaying behavior that is typical for her age and moments if confusion where we are just not sure what’s normal. This morning was a moment of clarity as my daughter showed her true 3-year-old character. Stepping on the bus this morning, the bus driver, as usual, offered his hand to help her up. I, as usual, put my hands on her back to give her a little boost. With all her little personality, Katie looks up at the bus driver, shakes her little blind pony tail and demands “NO HELP UP!”

Her bus driver and I had a hard time trying not to laugh. She was so cute. This little bitty girl, barely 3 feet tall, trying to climb stairs that start almost at her waist. Holding onto the rail, she valiantly moved up each one to the top. The smile on her face when she reached the top and turned around to say good-bye made my heart sing! My little girl is growing up and she can do it all on her own.

I guess it sounds silly if you have never had to deal with the heartbreak of a special needs child. But those of you who have will understand how significant this little victory is for our family. Up until very recently, Andy has been content to just let the adults in his life just do things for him. I guess we’ve been enabling his helplessness a little by underestimating his ability.

But lately, Andy has started to take control of his world in small steps. For instance, tonight at shower time, he demonstrated a desire to wash his own hair and body. Then he wouldn’t let me dry him with the towel. Instead, he yanked the towel out of my hands and declared “Andy Do It”.

I am starting to see my babies grow in independence and have a desire to do things on their own. It gives me hope that they will be able to live independent lives some day in the distant future. Isn’t that what we all want for our kids?

(Side note: this post was actually written back in April or May and I just forgot to post it. However, I felt it was a good testament to their learning progress so I wanted to post it anyway.)

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About Christy

Christy Vacchio is a former teacher and now Science Instructional Coach in Cincinnati. She is an avid reader and researcher. While she has her bachelor's and master's degrees in education, she plans to get her PhD in Neuroscience in the future. She hopes to participate in research on Neonatal Diabetes and Developmental Delays one day.

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