I have so much to say in the area of working with the school and one of the biggest things that I need to say is be ready to advocate for your child.

Be ready to do it from day one and be ready to KEEP doing it each and everyday each and every year.

I wish someone had told me that when I first began my journey with Elizabeth! I think I thought that once things seemed in order then all was okay, but your really cannot feel that way. Yes things may indeed be in order but you have to be alert and watchful and involved.

Your child may come home from school upset, something may be bothering them and if they are like Elizabeth and non-verbal or limited in their verbal abilities, then you will need to find out what is happening. For those who don’t already know, Elizabeth is my daughter who has special needs. She has SPD(Sensory Processing Disorder) and Global Dyspraxia. She was non verbal until the age of 5.

You will need to be involved… this job is a non-stop one. I have learned so much as time has passed, I have learned that it is so important to be a part of your child’s school life and also that it is comforting in a way also, because you know that by being involved you will notice a problem and be able to address it in a shorter fashion than if you had to wait for someone to let you know or even wait for the beloved time called “conference night”

I am happy to tell our story and give advice that has worked for us because by advocating for your child and being a face in the school, and a presence in your child’s school life will you be sure things are actually in order.

Each year, your advocacy, if it is like mine, will take on a new form, or your role may need to increase or decrease, but your presence is necessary.

I have never been very good at knowing that has time passed and we COULD HAVE or SHOULD HAVE done something better for Elizabeth, by being an advocate I am always hoping that we will make the best use of time, to gain as much as possible and to help Elizabeth as best we can each day.

Good luck to all of you as you continue your journeys. And remember, YOU know your child the best. Hold onto that thought when others question you, or comment that you need to do this or that. It is great to listen to what is said and offered but ultimately, YOU know your child the best.

Our journey is now one of navigating adulthood. And we are always working on the next correct step. and I am hoping all will be well.

The new school year is coming soon and as such, now is a good time to breath and know you are the best advocate for your child!

I wish everyone a peaceful week,

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself

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