The Importance of Advocacy!

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With our move, I have come to realize one big truth about myself. I must advocate for my children and myself. While I still know people that live in the Dallas area, I am required to open myself up to more than those people. So far, I have been quite lucky with those that I’ve met.

School professionals? They have congratulated me on my knowledge, order and preparation. They like the initiative I’m taking to learn about my children’s education. All around, it has been an excellent experience. They are all quite aware that I have Asperger’s and have concluded that both boys do indeed qualify for an IEP under the diagnosis of Autism.

Rehabilitative professionals? They also have noticed my keen knowledge of the boys. Surprisingly, I have learned that most parents don’t get to know the ins and outs of their children like I have. I’m not sure why, but it comes natural for me to learn every aspect and keep up to date. There was no shock this week when my oldest, now 5, was evaluated at below a 3 year old level, and no shock that my youngest, now 4, was evaluated at about a 3 1/2 year old level. We have come to grips with this and do what we can do push them further. And once again, I have let them know that I have Asperger’s.

I have now come to my roadblock when it comes to success with advocacy. I am now trying to become part of a local mom’s group. Armed with my relatively new diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, I am doing what I can to advocate. I make sure to let people know about Autism Spectrum Disorders. I make them aware that my children are delayed for their age. What I seem to keep forgetting is advocating for myself. So today, I ran into my roadblock from opening my proverbial mouth. On the message board for this group, I chose words unwisely. I upset someone unintentionally. But I took that moment to explain myself when I had the opportunity. I invited the person to read more about social deficits with those Asperger’s people.

I usually don’t upset others, but I do know I make rude comments at times. This is not about making excuses though. This is a time for learning as well. Both from my side, on learning that certain comments are better left unsaid, and from the other side, that sometimes people don’t always intend to be mean.

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