A Small Step for Madison

A Small Step for Madison

This week’s inspiration comes from my daughter Madison. Since April is Autism Awareness Month, the good folks at Pathfinders for Autism have been sharing stories that highlight “steps to independence” with their campaign, #ItsTheSmallSteps.

Madison has made a huge small step!

When my sister Rachel and I visited Madison during her 26th birthday celebration, I was surprised—no, shocked—at her ability to “chill.” For most of Madison’s life, detailed schedules have helped structure her day. Knowing what was next kept her focused and engaged, often preventing upsets and aggressive, even self-injurious behaviors.

“Schedule, please,” is one of the few unprompted phrases she had mastered. She used it repeatedly, almost obsessively.

It worked well for many years but as she moved into adulthood, her behaviors escalated. After several rough patches, she was admitted into a specialized in-patient program where her behaviors were studied, medications adjusted, and a different way of directing Madison was devised and later implemented in her new residential and day programs.

I knew she was doing well in the new programming. But at her birthday party when I learned we had almost an hour to wait between skating time and pizza, I was still stunned at her new skill.

She chilled.

She sat with Rachel.

She jammed to her music.

She enjoyed sitting and munching on a fresh bag of Cheetos.

I couldn’t believe it. My Madison had learned to chill, to wait patiently. What a huge small step! How wise of Pathfinders to remind us to celebrate the small steps!

And they aren’t the only ones celebrating this message.

In this week’s I’ve Been Thinking, Maria Shriver urges readers to celebrate the “yippee moments” to help “put more joy” into our lives.


So often we are grinding through our daily lives, checking the lists, solving existing problems while anticipating new ones that we forget to celebrate those “yippee moments,” those “small steps” that can lift us up above our circumstances.

How about you? Do you celebrate the small steps? The “yippee moments?” Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Looking forward to speaking and celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Page Turners book club tonight… Come join us!

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