3 Ways To Welcome a New Year—Special-Needs Style

Do you dread the new year?


Do you look forward to having a brand new start?

I personally love brand new starts and brand new years. I like second chances. I love when I get a redo on something I wasn't pleased with.

Some of us may feel overwhelmed with starting something all over again.

Which one are you?

One of the things I love about fresh starts is the slate is wiped clean.

No looking back.

Nothing on the white board.

No scratch marks anywhere to be found.

Many of us start diets, begin an exercise schedule, or maybe get better organized. After a week or two it fades away for most of us.

The new year is usually a time for me to evaluate the prior year and figure out my goals for the next. Do you take the time to look ahead and make a plan?

What things worked in 2018 and what do I want to make better in 2019?


I want to encourage you and share 3 of the things I do to welcome in a new year.

  1. Look Back - I like to look back in order to remember where I was. Every single year since Autism came in our life (since 2004) I have seen progress made with my son. Even if this was very small, there was always some kind of progress. At the end of each year he is always doing something more than when he began the year. This always encourages me. Sometimes I get bogged down on what he still needs to work on that I forget where he has come. This year Charlie moved from a school he had been at 8 years and now is at a school that doesn't provide the same supports. He was scared and so was I, but he is doing it. He has made tremendous progress on his own. I told him he was ready to fly.

  2. Look Forward- I love to make goals and dream. I love to always be reminded of where my son Charlie should be (socially, academically) and reach high for those goals. When I see the big goals and expectations then I can make a plan of how I can help him get there. You might even break it down super small. That is okay. Knowing what the goal is and working toward it together can be exciting. I also like to envision what the end of the following year may look like when some of these goals are reached. I am so thankful that God doesn't allow us to see the future ahead of time. It would spoil the anticipation.

  3. Look At Serving- One of my favorite things to do is to serve and help others. When we are discouraged or feeling overwhelmed the best thing we can do is help someone else. It doesn't have to be extravagant, it just has to be from your heart to help someone else. No strings attached. Nothing needed in return. I know whenever I feel overwhelmed or down this is the first thing I think of doing. It is not easy though the more you are feeling down, but once you take that first step to go and help it feels awesome. It takes the attention and focus off of your problems and helps you to focus your attention on helping someone else. You can just write a note to someone anonymously. Maybe you could help someone get their groceries—follow their list, pick out the items, buy them and bring them to their house. Sometimes it is watching a friends child with a disability so she can get a break for a few hours. It could be mowing someones lawn and weeding for them. There are so many ways you could help serve someone else.

The Lord gave us a brand new start when his son, Jesus, died on a cross for our sins. He paid the price for us to have a brand new start so we could live with Him forever. Isn't that the best news ever! Let us look back on what Christ did for us, let us look forward to what is to come when we meet Him face to face, and let us serve others so He can be glorified.

I can't wait to see what He will do next year!


Patty Myers