Letting go of the expected developmental milestones was a huge relief for me. Thinking back, those Early Intervention years (for T, ages 15 months to three years) were an unbelievably stressful time. I really believed that if I just spent more time with him, engaged him with the right activities, and did everything "right", then I could make the impending and ominous specter of autism go away. (As if.) As more months passed by without meeting these milestones, the more frantic I became inside. I probably was close to some sort of nervous break. This culminated in a profound moment which I will post about later this month. Stay tuned.
After then, I let go of those expectations. Kicked the Developmental Milestone Timelines charts out the door. All that mattered was that he continued to make forward progress. The specific months & years simply didn't matter anymore. Yes, he needed to make progress, but the timeframe was increasingly irrelevant. He wasn't meeting them and it wasn't due to some failure on my part. It was because there was something very, very different about my boy, and I wasn't going to let those *bleeping* charts make me feel bad about him or myself anymore.