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How To Best Help Your Child Become Their Own Self-Advocate

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Presentation on theme: "How To Best Help Your Child Become Their Own Self-Advocate"— Presentation transcript:

1 How To Best Help Your Child Become Their Own Self-Advocate
Amanda Ziemer School Counselor Parker Core Knowledge Charter School

2 What is Self Advocacy? It means taking the responsibility for communicating one’s needs and desires in a straight-forward manner to others. It is a set of skills that includes: • Speaking up for yourself • Communicating your strengths, needs and wishes • Being able to listen to the opinions of others, even when their opinions differ from yours • Having a sense of self-respect • Taking responsibility for yourself • Knowing your rights • Knowing where to get help or who to go to with a question or concern

3 Why Is This Important? Teaching your child self advocacy skills early on provides him or her with an opportunity to learn and practice important life skills. Some advantages your child may gain after learning these skills include: Practicing goal setting Become more self-aware (having a better understanding of who they are, and where their individual strengths and weakness lie) Building teamwork skills Developing an ability to speak up for himself or herself Participating in a process of resolving differences Gain essential skills necessary for post secondary educatiand adulthood

4 How To Teach These Skills To Your Child…
It is never too early to start teaching your child how he or she can advocate for himself or herself. Like many other important life skills, self-advocacy is a critical tool your child needs in order to achieve goals, increase self sufficiency, and become a successful young adult. It is a life long process that begins with your child learning by watching you, as a parent, be a good advocate.

5 Where To Start… Some questions you may want to discuss with your son or daughter include: • What do you want to learn or work on this year? • What are your special concerns for the school year? • How do you learn the best? • What do you need to be successful? • What would make learning easier for you? • What do you wish your teacher and other school staff would understand about you?

6 What If My Child Is On An Individual Education Plan (IEP)?
Involving your child in the IEP process is the best way for them to fully understand what their IEP is all about and to practice self-advocacy skills with adults.

7 If Your Child Has an IEP Introducing him or herself
Some ways for your child to be involved in their IEP meeting are not limited to, but include: Introducing him or herself Writing down ideas, questions, and concerns before the IEP meeting Rehearsing what he or she wants to say in the IEP meeting Talking about his or her interest strengths, and desires for the future Explaining his or her disability to the team Leading all or part of the IEP meeting Helping the team develop IEP goal areas Asking for explanations if he or she doesn’t understand something Reviewing what the team has agreed to at the end of the meeting

8 Other Recommendations That Will Help Promote Self Advocacy In Our Children…
Self advocacy skills training be implemented into the curriculum beginning in elementary Students should learn about their weaknesses and strengths (One way for them to do this is having them take a Cognitive Process Inventory (CPI)) Students should know what the whole IEP process is about and be encouraged to participate in developing their personal IEP Adolescents should have the opportunity to take a course in self advocacy/self determination their 9th grade year or earlier if possible

9 “Sometimes, the growth and increased knowledge that come from self-advocacy are more powerful than the fairness of the solution.” Deborah McCarthy Student affairs administrator in the Services for Students with Disabilities Office at The University of Texas at Austin. Born with Cerebral Palsy.

10 (2004). How You Can Help Your Child Learn To Be A. Good. Self Advocate
(2004). How You Can Help Your Child Learn To Be A Good Self Advocate. Action Information Sheets. Retrieved from http.// Fasset, D.R. (2002). How Can I Help Myself? Self Knowledge, Self Advocacy, and Academic Success McCarthy, D. (2007). Teaching Self Advocacy to Students with Disabilities. Wiley Periodicals, Inc doi: 10/.1002/abc.225 References…

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