“Why fit in when you were born to stand out!”.

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out!”.

Happy 112th Birthday Dr. Seuss!  Over the holidays last season, a sweet Mom shared an ornament she had ordered for her son with this quote from Dr. Seuss and I immediately ordered several for gifts for the family members from Cody.

When I think about Dr. Seuss’ quote, Cody has taught us all how to stand out.

We were sitting at dinner last night at our favorite Mexican restaurant and my oldest son, Cameron told my mother and I, “If I were to get a tattoo when I get older, I would get, CRN.”  I said, “why would you get your brothers initials?” He said, “Mom, Cody has changed our lives for the better!  Think about life before Cody and think about life now?”  I paused and even looked a little puzzled by his remark and said, “I guess I would have to agree with you son. He has taught us to stop and smell the roses and appreciate the little things. The little things are what matters most.”

I thought about what Cameron said for the rest of the night and even woke up this morning thinking about it.  I sent Cameron a text after he got to school telling him how amazing he really is and how proud I am to be his Mom.  Life’s journey is about the little things and Cameron reminded me of that again last night.


Cody has taught us about the little things matter most. He can make small progress and it might be as simple as matching an object to a picture or fetching his own diaper when he needs a change but those are BIG things and HUGE things that did not even happen last week!  See, at times we take those small things for granted because it might come natural for a neuro-typical child and when things progress naturally, you really can lose sight of what matters most which are the little things that typically can’t be bought.

Think of it this way, when Cody fetched his own diaper this week from the drawer, the normal reaction I would have had 10 years ago with Cameron, would have been to run out to buy his a new potty, big boy underwear, a new book and video on potty training, etc.  This is ALL true and what you should do when you observe signs of wanting to be potty trained with a neuro-typical child.

The difference with Cody is he had to literally be taught how to get his own diaper which took about a week and next week we will build on this action and have him start pulling it up all by himself or request for him to get his diaper from another room to see if he can understand the receptive language in a different part of the house by asking the same question.  These small steps make you observe the little things you can’t buy yet…patience, hope, pride, love, celebrations, courage, etc.

This is what Cameron and  I are talking about. Cody has taught us how to stop and appreciate our lives, give us something to hope for, celebrate the smallest successes and to realize what comes easy for us is a battle in a small 40 pound boy.

I took this photo last weekend at Cameron’s baseball tournament!  It is about the team and winning at times but really its about the little things like the baseball pants.


Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.  Aaron Siskind

It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. John Wooden
God tests and proves us by the common occurrences of life. It is the little things which reveal the chapters of the heart. Ellen G. White



Published by mamalamaneustupa

Bio My name is Shelley Neustupa. I am a mother of two cool boys and a wife of 22 years to my high school sweetheart. My oldest son attends the University of Oklahoma. Boomer! My youngest is in 2nd grade and was diagnosed with Autism and Mixed Receptive Expressive Disorder at age 2. Since his diagnosis, I promised him I would advocate and educate as hard as he works each day in therapy. I began writing and have been able to touch many parents that may be new to this journey providing them with actual experiences (not candy coated), support and resources through my entries. Writing is my therapy and my hope one day that my nonverbal son will be able to take these diaries and speak about his own journey and how autism relates to his own experiences. Who knows he and his older brother may become National Speaker’s one day? Come along on our journey to better understand our lives through the eyes of a boy with autism, his Skilled Companion dog Jude, his big brother (and best friend) and mom and dad. My raw vulnerability captures the everyday moments of our journey and will bring even more awareness. A week does not go by where we do not learn something new about ourselves and I want to share these chapters with you. My Sons Undeniable Strengths… Extremely smart and figures out things quickly. Has a memory that allows him to remember more things than I could ever hope for. Persuasive by his personality and sheepish looks. Overabundance of stamina and strength. Loves the outdoors. Enjoys life and always has fun with an unforgettable smile. You can find us here: Writer: Autism Through His Eyes Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Canine Companions for Independence News Interview Cody and Skilled Companion Jude - Our Story

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