Advocacy for Special Needs

Sometimes, I have completely random thoughts that I just have to get out of my brain before it explodes.

Lucky you–heh.

We  (as in special needs parents) advocate. Hard. Passionately. We push administrator’s buttons in the schools. We give the stink eye to people who stare at our kids. We complain (sometimes incessantly) about doctors, nurses, therapists…

Advocacy:  The act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, policy; active support (American Heritage Dictionary, 2003).

It’s something you do. It’s active.

Not passive-aggressive.

Advocacy is not about being mean. Or grumpy. Or carrying a chip on our shoulder because we want our kid to be treated like every other kid.

It’s about education.

Seriously, we should be more empathetic (and I say this to myself as well…for I, too, am guilty of this sin). We should stop complaining and open our mouths to educate these people. They don’t know what it feels like to walk through the store and have children run away from your kid. They don’t know what it feels like to never be invited out with friends. They don’t know what it feels like to see 7 specialists per month. They don’t know how hard it is to choose between swimming lessons for one child and life-sustaining medications for the other. In my opinion, it takes far less energy to explain something to someone, than it does to be ugly and complain or criticize.

It’s easy to be snarky–To blow off steam about the world being wrong.

But the fact is, until we stand united to educate, we cannot advocate.

Does this make sense?

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