How to Advocate for your Child with Special Needs

Developmental Delays & Seizures
May 10, 2016
(Ad-vo-cate) – Verb, transitive. To speak, plead or argue in favor of. To support.
  1. Learn as much as you can about your own child’s special needs by asking a lot of questions. Your child’s doctors, teachers, and therapists, as well as other parents of children with the same special needs can all help you understand what you need to know. Ask a lot of questions and keep good notes.
  1. Educate yourself about special education law so you can ensure your child gets the services they are entitled to. Attend special education law workshops so you know your rights (wrightslaw.com).
  1. Keep in mind that you and your child’s school/ teacher(s) are a team. Work together to the best of your ability. If things get adversarial, take it up the chain but try to keep the relationships, between you and those who work directly with your child, positive. If you need support, consider a special needs Educational Consultant. It can be well worth the cost. Never go to a meeting for your child alone – take a friend or neighbor if you have to. Get support!
  1. Your child will not be a child forever! Have high expectations and set both short-term and long-term goals. Have a vision for what you want for your child once they become adults and work towards that end. Surround yourself with people who will help you achieve those goals.
  1. You know your child better than anyone, so trust yourself. Just do your best and know that it’s enough!