Advocacy is defined as the active support of an idea or a cause. The best advocates for a disabled child are his or her parents. No one else has the same perspective about the special needs that their child faces.
How does advocacy make a difference in a child’s life? Changes in many governmental agencies and programs have come about as the result of parents and caregivers standing up for the righs of their children. The services that local, state, and federal agencies decide to fund are often the ones with the most vocal and effective advocates. But advocacy can come on a more personal scale as well. If a school bus consistently shows up too early or too late, it’s usually up to the parents to make the phone calls that will get the problem corrected.
Whether you need to lobby Congress or call the school board, check out the following tips about how you can become your child’s best advocate.
You’re talking, but is anyone listening? Find out how you can get your point across more effectively.
Never underestimate the power of note taking. Your notes will keep you organized and help you hold agencies, insurance companies and schools accountable for their policies. Find out how to take effective notes.
Learn how to avoid the frustrating games of phone tag and make every phone call count.
Important issues in your child’s life will be decided in meetings. Find out how to get the most out of every meeting.
Taking Your Message to the Media
Sometimes the best way to end an injustice is by shining a light on it. Find out how to effectively utilize the media.
Sometimes you need legal help to stand up for your child’s rights. Find out when and how to hire an attorney.
Put a face on the problem. A short anecdote about your child can bring people around to your point of view. Find out how to tell your child’s story effectively.
Are you looking for more ideas about how to become a successful advocate for your child?
Ask your question in the My Child Without Limits support community and connect directly with other parents, caregivers, and professionals. We’ll be monitoring the community regularly and adding the best advice to our caregiver notebook.
Start organizing all the information about your child’s treatment programs. An extension of our Community, this section is not only geared towards parents, but written by parents. Learn from their experiences.