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Advocating for Your Special Needs Child

Updated on May 5, 2014

Special needs children's educational rights

Advocating For Your Special Needs Child (See part two of this hub

As a parent of a special needs child, I know that the demands on your every day life are high. Parenting, in itself, is very demanding of your time and is very challenging. Add to this the frustration, confusion and anger a special child feels and the stresses and demands are multiplied.

Your child may struggle with attention span issues. Maybe they are extremely impulsive and lack the ability to sit still for even short periods of time. Perhaps they have auditory processing problems or suffer from seizures. Their needs are varied and many.

You know your child better than any one else does. You may never understand the full extent of what they deal with or the complexities of the issues involved, but you do know that problems exist.

Every child has the right to have their needs met.

It is your responsibility to see that whatever assistance your child needs is met.

I am speaking here about educational needs. You need to advocate for your child as he or she is unable to do so themselves.

This is not an easy task. You will need to have a lot of supporting documentation. Often a diagnosis takes many years and is not something that is hurriedly reached.

If you are not the type of person to stand up and speak for yourself, you will need to learn to become one for the sake of your child.

As one person once told me, in regards to funding issues and special needs students, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

Unfortunately, this is often the case. You may need to make many appointments, deal with many doctors, and have numerous assessments done. These may include speech and language assessments, occupational therapy assessments and behavioral testing. On top of that, you will need a physician’s recommendations and perhaps psychological testing on your child.

Many appointments will need to be made. You may need to get second opinions. You may need to get third opinions. This is not a time to back down. It is a time to persevere.

Having worked in a school setting, as an educational assistant, I found that many students that had very significant learning deficits were not getting the needed supports. Some of the milder cases of learning disabled children sometimes got the programming they needed whereas the others did not. This is where you need to come in. You need to be assertive, as hard as that may be.

You need to become an advocate for your child as they don’t have the ability to do so themselves. There is funding available and you will need to be persistent to see that your child gets the help he or she deserves.

Remember, every child deserves to have their needs met. Every child should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Continued (part two)




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    • westernangel profile image

      westernangel 8 years ago from Canada

      Thanks Uninvited Writer. :)

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Very well said. I have great admiration for parents of special needs children.