Freedom Friday: Teaching our Children with Disabilities Self Advocacy
The article from The Mighty highlights an episode of Speechless, where a young man with CP takes charge of his IEP meeting at school. The importance of teaching all children and young adults to advocate for themselves and to realize their potential for making choices is essential in preparing them for life after grade school. Most people do not realize that things change significantly after high school as after graduation is it up to them to seek out what they need. Your employer or college will not seek you out if things are not going well and your parents cant access records or make decisions for you after age 18. It is up to you to be proactive and where most people find they are ill prepared.
“Parents are integral to ensuring the IEP covers the needs of the student. However, as students grow older, they are encouraged to take a larger part in the process. It is not uncommon for parents and even teachers to encourage children to take part in developing their own IEPs. While the show takes a comic look at mothers, who typically advocate on behalf of their children needing IEPs, it also highlights J.J.’s journey to self-advocacy.”
IEPs are a great place for children with disabilities to assert themselves and speak up for their needs. These students are able to articulate details about their disabilities, ask for accommodations, and know their rights.