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Special Needs Advocacy

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

Casual scribe

Special Needs Advocacy

Our goal as parents, is to guide and protect. It's important to aide our kids in how to do this for themselves, as much as possible, as they mature. There are awesome examples of young people with tremendous needs overcoming the odds.. How can we do better to encourage this?

Re: Special Needs Advocacy

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Hi there @InayaCare 


Thanks for raising such an important topic! You're right - it is really important to build on the skill of self advocacy. We actually had a conversation about this last week on the Youth forums here - feel free to have a read and see what tips we shared with the young people. 


I think how we can develop this is by 

  • Modelling the skills used in advocacy 
  • Educate your teen on advocacy and their rights 
  • Practising speaking up for oneself in a safe setting


What are some other ideas? @PapaBill @Dad4good @waldo_pepper @Dot000 

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Special Needs Advocacy

Exactly! @Bre-RO is spot on. I would only add that self advocacy is tricky as adults let alone special needs teens.


It would be nice if we could do more to break down the stigma involved with many topics. For a light example my girls hate it when I put sanitary items in string bag at the shops for all to see. Smiley Very Happy


More seriously, my son is autistic and at university 1800 kms away.  He doesn't have to tell his lecturers/tutors he has this disability under the laws which is very respectful, however, this also makes him feel that autism is something to be embarrassed about.  It implies to him that he shouldn't tell others about it and now that he needs more support with one lecturer in particular he is reluctant and unable (with the ASD) to advocate for himself. 


So long story short, I believe honesty and openness is important if we are to advocate well. 

Casual scribe

Re: Special Needs Advocacy

Agreed, In 2019, There is a great deal of stigma surrounding the topic in general. The world, social media and beyond.. needs to be better educated about what needs and differences looks like. We as parents have to remind our kids that they are not anybody's label. Having a need or difference if you will, makes them unique, is apart of them but it does not define who they are.
Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Special Needs Advocacy

From what I have seen we have come far in inclusions of those different but there still remains intolerance and bigotry

I had a special needs child in one of my auskick teams and image such a difference to his life and all on the team

I treassure it as one of my best memories of that time when his mother thanked us for having him as part of the team

The funny thing is when I tried to discuss it with my son he didn't even know what I was talking about..he just accepted him as he was

Don't you wish all we meet could be as accepting as a 6 year old