But isn't advocating just being a "good" parent?
I am sure most of us know what it means to advocate for your child; but I want to give a little bit of insight on what that might mean when you have a child with a disability.
First of all, there is a lot of legal mumbo jumbo that is involved in the entire Special Education Process, and it is important that, as parents, you understand what everything means, so that you can make sure your child is getting the best education possible.
So what are a few simple ways you can advocate for your child?
Be informed. Research your child's disability and eligibility, don't just take everyone else's word for it.
Be an active member in your child's IEP meetings and conferences. You are a huge part of that team, and nothing can be added or changed without your written consent. For the most part, the teachers and the rest of the team are doing what they think is best, but at the end of the day, it is your child, and you know them better than anyone.
Build relationships with those who work closest with your child. As a special education teacher, I found that children seemed to get more of what they needed when their parent(s) and I talked frequently and were able to be open and honest with each other.
It is amazing what children can achieve when they have a village in their corner. So let's be the best motivators and advocates that we can be, so that they can then be the best that they can be.