Thursday, July 24, 2014

autism advocacy -- what it means to me...

I once read a quote that said "The greatest lesson of the civil rights movement is that the moment you let others speak for you, you lose."  I'm not sure where I read it or who said it, so I cannot give that person the proper credit.  I think that is one of the best quotes about advocacy I've read, though I would modify it to include speaking for your children.   

Each day during the month of April, I updated my Facebook status with factual information or with my own opinions about autism.  I've decided to take some of them and expand them here on my blog.

So....what does Autism Advocacy mean to me? Well...a lot of things. 

It means I will stand up for my daughter and others who are affected by autism. I have no tolerance for those who bully, especially when those who cannot defend themselves are being bullied.

It means that I will raise awareness about the daily challenges and struggles that are faced by myself and others who are raising children with autism. That person on the checkout line who tells me that all my child needs is a good out!

It means that I will fight to have my child included with her typical peers so that she will learn how to socialize. This is how she will learn how to function in society.

It means that I will be a voice for my child when she needs me to do so. I will make sure that the doctor listens to my concerns and my "hunches" since Laurie is unable to speak. 

It means that I will educate myself on the legalities of the special education system so that I can ensure that she is getting the most appropriate education possible.

It means that I will research the best therapies that may be available, and will work toward getting my child those therapies if they are appropriate for her.

It means that I will participate in events that raise awareness for autism...from attending and volunteering to work at a walk to raise funds for research to taking part in special events at Laurie's school (Blowing Bubbles for Autism & the yearly carnival).

As an advocate for both of my children, I am their biggest champion. I will help them to achieve their become the best people that they can be. No one could or would ever advocate for my children better than I do.