Monday, October 23, 2017

10 Things to Remember When Advocating for Your Special Needs Child

If you know me in real life and happened to ask me one simple question at all last year, I would have responded in one of two ways: tears or a lengthy rant. It really depended on the day.

See, things did not go well for my son J at school last year. 

Not one bit.

It was not only a difficult year for him, but for me as well. I'm still recovering from hours of lost sleep and stress, still scrambling to find myself again.

"How is school going for your kids?" 

That was my trigger.

Seemingly innocent question, right?

Well, now that things have settled, I have more clarity on the entire situation. 

I have had plenty of time to reflect on last year and I am trying my best to focus on the positive. And I think the most positive thing I learned from last year is that now I truly know how to best advocate for J and his needs at school.

So whether you are struggling with your own school advocacy fight or with some other stupid system, I want you to keep some things in mind. Even in the thick of an advocacy battle, there are 10 things you should always remember when advocating for your special needs child.

Tips for advocating for your special needs child from And Next Comes L

Things to Consider When Advocating for Your Child

Advocating is not easy, especially when you are stressed out and so is your child. 

But it is so important that you advocate hard to make sure your child's needs are met because if you won't, who will?

Tips for advocating for your special needs child from And Next Comes L

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  1. Thank you for giving parents ways to advocate for their child. Some parents are so overwhelmed with the process, they do not know where to start. There are some good ideas for them here.

    Communication is the biggest necessity and yet the hardest for parents to start. I was fortunate that I worked for a school district where I worked closely with the Special Education department before we needed their services. I knew what questions to ask and already understood some of the processes that needed to be completed before they could begin to help.

    The most important thing is: if you do not understand what is being said, ask questions and keep asking questions until you understand. I know of parents who walked away confused and uninformed because they didn’t pursue what they didn’t understand.

    The group I worked for worked hard for their students and cared for their well being and their education. Get to know your child’s team and talk to them regularly

    1. Such great advice, Elaine! Communication is definitely the most important part when it comes to advocating.