Become Your Child's Advocate

Become Your Child's Advocate

When it comes to fighting for what is best for your child, no one does it better then you. You know him better than anyone, his likes, his dislikes, his struggles, and his needs. In a perfect world, all the specialized services that he needs would be easily accessible, unfortunately they are often not. Being his advocate is speaking for him when he can not, and making sure he gets all the services he needs and to which he is entitled.

Being a good advocate for your child requires being ready and organized, a lot of open and honest communication, involving your child in decisions, and most importantly a positive attitude.


Good communication is the root of all relationships. Being a good advocate for your child, will require a lot of communication between you, doctors, therapists, organizations, and/or her teachers. Being honest and open about what you are trying to accomplish is necessary if you want results. Asking a lot of questions, especially when it comes to unfamiliar terms or procedures, is also important. No one sees or knows her like you do, so share your views and opinions, while working together, as a team toward her goals. Touch base often, and keep a friendly line of communication open.

Keep Records and Notes

IEP meetings, conferences, therapy or doctor's notes, the list of paperwork you will receive can seem endless. Creating a folder or notebook to organize and keep track of evaluations and notes will create an easily accessible way to keep track of everything. Keeping notes of your own will also be useful, especially when attending meetings and/or conferences.

Involve Your Child

Everything you are doing, is for your child. His feelings and opinions are important, and he needs to know that they matter and what he says is important too. Talk to him often and explain everything that is going on. This can be extremely beneficial when something or someone new and different is coming into his routine.

Be Positive

Being positive is, perhaps, one of the most important aspects of being a skillful advocate for your youngster, and probably the most over-looked. It is easy to become overwhelmed, especially if things are not going easily or the way you hoped and wanted. It’s hard to be productive and get desired results, when you are frustrated. Remaining positive is the best way to get positive outcomes.

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Become Your Child's Advocate
Shandy Marso, Contributor

Carolina Pediatric Therapy © September 2014

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