Parents as Advocates

Please watch and share your thought

The emotional impact of parenting a special needs child has resulted in an increased vulnerability to the emotional wellbeing of parents. From Inadequate knowledge and little access to services, experience of stigma, fear of the future, lack of support and understanding from the society to coming to terms with life being different from how we expected can all take their toll.

However, there are positive aspects to parenting a special needs child, including increased meaning or growth, academic achievements and positive behavior outcomes given the right circumstances and appropriate support.

But many parents work with their child not knowing the required knowledge to actively participate in important discussions relating to their child’s education and transitions, such as partnering with the teachers, placement and working with other professionals involved with the child.

Research has shown that interaction between parents and teachers is critical for supporting positive child outcomes and it has been proven that children are more effective when the family is involved. Although in most cases, it may not predict increase in academic achievement, but it reduces problem behaviors in the child and supports his development in other categories of life that may empower him to live independently.

When we think about how much effort it takes our children to do things most children consider simple and their determination to achieve it, it gives us strength to continue advocating for them whether it is to put him/her into the right school or to put him/her in classes geared to his needs, is the most important thing we will ever do. We are our children’s greatest advocate.

In the coming weeks, we will be looking at how families can become effective advocates for their children with special needs.

In the meantime, please watch “Graduating Peter” which is a sequel to “Educating Peter”(also make out time to watch educating Peter) It is about a child with Down Syndrome (Peter) whose parents stood against all odds to support him to become a ‘man”.