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Friday, April 29, 2016

My Little Cricket’s Delay: JASPER Mommy and Me 10: Parent Advocacy

This week my mentor gave the lecture part of our JASPER class. It was our last week and I was so sad that our time here was coming to an end. 10 weeks surely doesn’t feel long enough. Since it was the last week the focus of the class was on the parents and how we could become our childs best advocate. When getting the diagnosis I was thrown into an alien world full of terms and acronyms I had never heard of before (ASD, ABA, IEP, SLP. BIP, OT, ect.) But as a parent it was my job to not only learn everything I could, to educate myself so I could understand what I wanted for my son but also to fight for the plan I want implemented. Navigating the multiple buracricies of the healthcare system, the education system, the insurance system, the school system, and the state office of disabilities hasn’t been fun. Advocacy is what many parents have the hardest time with.

Advocacy is the process of trying to persuade others to support your position or point of view.

Because the healthcare community doesn’t know what causes autism, because there isnt a cure, and because there is no one size fits all therapy schedule that works for every ASD kid it leaves parents in a difficult position. In this case we as parents must decide what is the best thing for our child and then work on making that happen. A daunting task for sure. Advocacy comes in many forms:
1. Communicating your concerns and your requested solutions to address those concerns
2. Being proactive in ensuring your child’s needs are met in the family, the school and the community and advocating for services, support and acceptance
3. Drafting, interviewing and arranging a therapy schedule that best addresses your child’s weakest areas of need

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