5 Tips to Advocate for Your Special Needs Child!!

I have always known in my heart that Z was different from other children. I never wanted my son to have a diagnosis. I never wanted him to have a label. I never wanted him to be treated differently than anyone else. As a baby I knew Z was different. He never wanted to be held, he never snuggled, he was happiest swinging in his swing alone. He was not very strong physically,  he didn’t roll over till 8 months old and he did’t walk until almost 19 months. It was more and more noticeable and obvious going through every stage & age as he grew.

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I by no means am trying to be disrespectful to teachers. I respect all teachers and what they do. They have a difficult job and work very hard.  I do however have a problem when a teacher disregards their obligations and responsibilities to my special needs child. Those are the teachers of whom I speak about here. This has been my experience and is my opinion. They are GREAT teachers out there and let me tell you when we get one I tell them they are Amazing. I continually Thank them endlessly. I express my incredible gratitude for their hard work, following through with their responsibilities and commitment to each of their students as often as possible.

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Advocating for your child with any kind of diagnosis is a literally a full time job.  My Son was diagnosed at 7 years old with A.D.H.D and then at 9 years old he was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. (Formerly known as Asperger’s)  There is no right or wrong way to Advocate. I know for me my Mama Bear comes out incredibly quick when it comes to having to do with anyone messing with my children. You can mess with me, you can hurt me all you want but DO NOT mess with my kids. It has taken me years to learn the ropes of how to advocate and what to do in certain situations. There is a pecking order of who can make things happen and who can just be a listening ear.  I know that with each step I have learned that the people who you’d think should know and understand that our children are different in many different ways truly do not. Many of those people are the ones you must also keep your eye on because if you give them an inch they will take 10 miles to not follow through with their responsibilities.

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I have learned that Any/All School staff will tell you anything you want to hear in the “meeting”. (IEP or 504) They will tell you that every single thing will be put in place in the classroom so that your child will have all the accommodations s/he needs everyday to be a successful student. Which I have learned the hard way that this truly depends on the teacher and how much they understand that our kids think,  do, learn and process things differently. Sadly, I have had issues with many teachers who don’t even read or comply at all with Z’s 504 what so ever.

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I have learned that many teachers will tell you that they have so many kids and that there have been lots of budget cuts. They will tell you their class size goes up every year giving each student less and less time to be noticed if they are struggling, rarely given that one on one assistance the struggling student needs to keep up with their peers or given any thought to my “normal” looking child who needs these accommodations everyday in every class because it is VITAL to his academic success. Unfortunately this is not always the teachers choice but it truly affects their capabilities to keep each and ever child on track academically. Every student learns in different ways. Teachers are told how to teach or teach one specific way which is comfortable for themselves.  You can talk to the teachers till you are blue in the face. But really they have no choice but to teach the best they can with the time, expectations and constraints that are put on them.  They have to tell you they understand your frustrations, they will listen to your pleas but it won’t get you anywhere. They don’t have the time or the authority to change things.

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I have learned that there are many teachers who assume one kid with a certain diagnosis is just like the next one and the next one that they have had in their classroom. They forget that every child learns differently and each process things better in certain ways. Even every Neuro-typical child learns the same way.  The same goes for every Autistic (Insert Any Diagnosis here) child who each learns, does, and processes things differently.  We all are unique in our own ways and we all have a specific way that works best for us to learn. Yet each teacher teaches the same thing the same way to every student cause that is their job. Unfortunately there are only so many hours in a day.

5 Tips I’ve learned to Advocate for your Special Needs Child:

  1. Be the Squeaky Wheel – Call, Request a meeting, E-mail (*Especially include the Super Intendent*), the principle, talk to the counselor, and include the teacher in the e-mails you are sending with your concerns or issues. As MANY times as you NEED TOO!! But do NOT stop until they are fulfilling their obligations/responsibilities to your child and complying with each and every accommodation or need for your child.
  2. Do Not Assume – Don’t assume because they tell you they are doing something that they actually are. Just because they tell you something  in your meeting that does not mean it will be enforced in the classroom each and every day.  It is literally checking in and asking questions. Follow your child grades and assignments throughout the semester. Don’t let your child slip through the crack because a teacher is NOT fulfilling their obligations to what your child needs them to do.
  3. Be Mama Bear – Protect your child’s rights and know what they are.  If you can’t get the school to comply move up the chain of command  go to the state Department of Special Education. File complaints. Your child deserves to have his/her needs met everyday in every class. Don’t let anyone intimidate you and don’t take no for an answer.
  4. Talk to your child- If at all possible try to get their input of how things are going with their teacher. They are there and know what is going on or not. For us it is hard because Z is not a big fan of conversations. He has trouble with the give and take of conversations and will answer what ever he can think of to get out of the conversation. So like I said IF you can talk with your child they have the inside scoop. But for us its stuck inside him usually. But once in a while he is the one that proves the school is in the wrong.
  5. Find an Parent Advocate– Usually there is at least one person in the school who will at least listen and try to help you. Even if they can fix the problems it is nice to know someone cares, will listen and you have a safe place to vent when things aren’t going right. For me it is usually the school counselor because they are taught to listen and care. That is their job. Last year it was the school districts Psychologist who took on the fight with me and helped me advocate for Z when I felt like NO ONE was listening to me.

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You are doing Great. You are doing the Best You Can!! Don’t give up. Don’t back down!! Keep talking, calling, e-mailing till you get the Problems you child is having fixed. Make sure the the school and teachers continue to do their jobs appropriately,  they keep following through with their responsibilities, and are complying  daily in every class with the legal documents that they signed and by law are obligated to follow.

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My Open Letter to ThredUp-

Thredup  is Amazing!!! Their Motto is “Second Hand Clothes. Firsthand Fun.”

I was not paid to share my opinion about this business! I was extremely & incredibly impressed with my purchases & experience with them.  I was super excited & wanted to share the awesomeness with you all to join in on the fun of getting new to you clothes at very affordable prices.

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Thank you ThredUp.com for being affordable, having endless options of fantastic clothes, great accessories, a huge variety of sizes, being trustworthy,  reliable, delivering clean, neatly folded items and being this SAHM’s new Best Friend to get some great deals to freshen up my wardrobe. 😀

Wow, I am extremely pleased your business. Your packaging was pretty, amazingly well put together, delivering clean and folded clothes wrapped up in gift wrap like it was a gift. It was like Christmas in a box.  I love your user friendly website & the high integrity of your of your business ethics. I definitely will be Highly Recommending your website to any one and everyone who is looking for some new to you clothes.

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My First New to Me ThredUp Outfit. I LOVE IT !!!

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ThredUp.com is a Online Virtual Thrift Store. Except you don’t have to endure the funky thrift store smell and you don’t have to leave the house!! Their clothes and accessories range from brands from such as  Target, Ann Taylor Loft, Aeropostale , Banana Republic, American Eagle, Express, J Crew, Gap, Joie,  Coach and many more magnificent brands.

We are a single income family. We live paycheck to the week before the next paycheck.  In our economy with the cost of everything rising . Because I am a Mom and a SAHM  I rarely ever get any new to me clothes. I live in and love second hand clothes because of the money you save compared to buying brand new at retail prices. I shop clearance racks and thrift store for my entire family.  When I do buy clothes they are always for my kids or my husband but never for me. But not any more.  Another photo of my great finds. American Eagle Outfitters Capri’s for the summer in like new condition. I am in with love them!!!

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Your no hassle free returns leaves you customers feeling confident in their purchases. If you try it on when you receive it and don’t like it you can send it back for free. No questions asked. That kind of customer service is rare these days.

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Each item has the condition clearly stated when you click on the picture. The clothing can range from new with tags, to like new, to minor wear and so on. You know what the condition is and weather it works for you. I find this knowledge very helpful when considering if the piece is right for me or not. It tells you the measurements and how they measure the clothing as well. Which is super helpful since we all come in different shapes and sizes.

I can not say enough good things about this company and their amazing business. They show pride, integrity and honor in their business by being honest, reliable and selling name brands at reasonable rates.

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You really can’t go wrong. You should Honestly GO Check them Out. I am positive you will fine lots of pieces you’ll love as well ❤  When you purchase them they will come to you wrapped, folded and clean in a pretty box. You can also sometimes find coupon codes if you look for them 😉 I think I may be addicted to checking out their website as it is constantly being updated with new pieces.  :-O

GO Visit their Site 🙂

Let me know what you think!!

Did you buy something??

Did You LOVE the items you received??

I love saving money where ever I can. This is the perfect way for me to freshen up my wardrobe without breaking the bank!!

Thank You Very Much ThredUP.com !!

You are Awesome & Amazing ❤  😀

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