If you’re like most parents, you know that raising children can be very hard. When raising a child with a disability, the challenges can be even greater. You want your kids to be included in everyday activities. You want them to have hopes and dreams like their friends. But what if your child can only speak a few words? What if your child has trouble making friends?
These are just a few of the issues parents of kids with disabilities face. It is important to learn how to advocate for our children. Learning these tools when your child is still young will help them soar!
When our children are young, we are their advocates. We make sure they get the supports in the classroom and community they need. As they grow, we must teach them how to advocate for themselves. It is vital that we help our children understand what is important to them and for them. This will help them reach for and lead their most successful life. It is hard for parents to do this alone. Taking part in a local leadership and advocacy training can help.
Family to Family Network offers a leadership and advocacy program to help you and your family. Our Disability Leadership Network of Houston (DLNH) program is a four-part series of classes. The program is offered twice a year, in the fall and in the spring. Classes are free for people with disabilities and their family members. They are also open to teachers, social workers, therapists, and others who want to learn more about disability issues.
Throughout the class, we explain the importance of having a circle of support for your child and family. We teach you what your rights are as a parent and the rights of people with disabilities. This is a great time to connect with other families who share similar experiences. You’ll also meet adults with disabilities who lead incredible lives with supports in place to make sure they succeed. The goal of the DLNH program is to help our children prepare for life beyond high school, including finding future jobs they enjoy. We share how to make this happen.
Family to Family Network believes in success for all children and young adults with disabilities. Our next DLNH series of classes starts soon. To register, go to http://www.familytofamilynetwork.org/what-we-do/disability-leadership-advocacy. We hope to see you there!
Learn more about the importance and impact of advocating for your child.
Presuming competence means assuming a child with a disability can understand just like anyone else. It means that you don't underestimate the child. Here's why this matters so much.
Here is one mom’s story about the personal changes she made to become an advocate for their child.