As I watched Elizabeth interact with her therapist the other day, I was happy to see her talk, react and share her opinion on the plans for their session.

I thought about how she was when she was young…without a voice. This was and is due to her global dyspraxia and its effects the muscles of her mouth.)

Or when she was in elementary school and just learning to talk…still without a strong voice.

Gaining her voice, with hard work, has given her the ability to communicate.

The ability to communicate helped her learn and strengthen her ability to be an advocate for herself.

….like she was doing with her therapist.

There are two kinds of advocacy, in my opinion. Self advocacy, like we just talked about and then the kind of advocacy that we do as parents and caregivers for our special needs children.

When we speak up for them when they don’t have a voice.

When we stand up for their goals and make sure their teachers know how they work.

When we join the education team around an IEP ( Individualized Educational Plan) table and push for the things we know our child not only needs but deserves.

That is advocacy.

And that kind of advocacy requires communication.

OPEN communication with any and all people who will be working with your child. In these uncertain times, communication is even more important.

If your child is struggling with a goal, or having a tough time with something at school….communicate with the teacher.

If your child’s IEP needs adjusted….communicate with the teacher.

If you need help teaching a skill to your remote learning special needs child…communicate this.

We are all team members for our special needs children….there should NEVER be an US and THEM philosophy.

Only a team approach to helping the child succeed.

And now more than ever does this need to be true.

I take my hat off to all those in the educational field for being asked last Spring to do the near to impossible on a days notice and for again, being asked to educate and care for our children during a pandemic.

Communication can only make the team stronger.

Find your voice for your child.

The support that they get from that will help them to grow and learn to communicate in their own way.

Just like Elizabeth and her therapist.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Please wear a mask! I always do, for my mom and others who could get really ill.