As parents of children with autism, we often wonder what to get our children for Christmas. Some of our children are verbal and can tell us what they want. Some of our children are nonverbal or have limited communication skills, so they can’t tell us what they want.
As we fill our carts with clothes, gadgets, and toys, remember that the BEST gift we can give our children this holiday season is an unwavering commitment to be their strongest advocate.
What does being our children’s strongest advocate mean?
- It means making sure our children have all the therapies and services they need to continue to grow and progress.
- It means being an active participant in our children’s education at home and at school.
- It means being an active participant on our children’s *IFSP or *IEP team.
- It means knowing our rights when we are told that our children can’t get something they need.
- It means learning the system and remembering that the “squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
- It means attending workshops and networking with professionals and other parents to learn all we can to become informed.
- It means having fun with our children and exposing them to every opportunity possible.
- It means knowing when to ask for help because we know our journey is not always easy.
- It means being aware of our children’s unique needs including sensory.
- It means loving our children unconditionally.
*Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
*Individualized Education Program (IEP)
BMWK: What does being a strong advocate for your child mean to you? What would you add to this list?