On Momversation.com there is an interesting vlog about advocating for your child. As the mother of a special needs child who’s needs have never been quite determined, I also put “advocate” in the long list of my responsibilities which makes me a “momvocate”. I’ve never really considered myself an “advocate”, not so much as a mom who wants the best for her child. The two words are symmetrical in my mind. How can you be a mom and not an advocate for your child? We live in a time where there are resources out there to be gotten…if your child qualifie. The problem is that we still have to fight for these resources. My son tests well and the evaluators do not always see what we see.
I definitely feel that my education and work background prepared me for this journey. I’m also a New Yorker (not born and bred but after 9/11 I couldn’t be from anywhere else), and I’m aggressive enough to fight for what I can get. I’ve used my communication, empathy, flexibility and negotiation skills over the last few years to secure assistance.
When the resources ended last year, we were forced to re-evaluate the situation. The decision was whether to put a young, not even 5 year-old in public kindergarten or put him a private school with more attention and structure. We chose the latter and it was the best decision for him. But even though he is having a good year and has made good progress, we still have a long road to travel.
What’s important is to let my son feel and know that he is unique and loved and no different from anyone else. I will continue to do whatever I can to make his life easier. After all, I’m his mom.