There are multiple way in which we all advocate for our kids. They’re usually big gestures like pushing up hill for educational evaluations and testing modifications or advocating for medical testing or treatment that could change the course of a disease or symptom course.
What about the little things though? Every single day there are small ways in we can advocate for our kids in their day-t0-day living that may make their lives easier.
1. If your kid has a lot of appointments, be it medical, tutoring or therapy, make one day during Monday through Friday sacred. Never make an appointment for that day (our day was Thursday when my kids were little).
2. Reduce appointments truly not needed. At a recent well visit, blood was drawn for regular labs for my daughter. As the parent of a kid who gets labs monthly, I thought it was overkill, but the doc wanted his set, which is fine. On the way out they wanted to set an appointment for us to come back and go over the results of the labs. I had to draw the line by telling them she gets regular labs and we have plenty of follow up and if there was something strange they could use the phone and call me or even better, email me.
3. Advocating for less homework and have it written into your child’s IEP. I don’t know about you but my kid didn’t need 15 problems of addition or subtraction for us to know he knew how to do it, five was sufficent.
4. Combine appointments if possible. Or at least try to make them all on the same day.
5. It’s okay to redirect the doctor to talk to your kid. I know all too often, I’m the one the doctors and nurses look at, but they’re asking really simple questions about the kids and the kids are right there. Countless times, I’ve said, “What do you think son?” and gave him a few quiet moments to collect his thoughts enough to answer.
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