Advocate News


10.31.2012

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Advocacy Tip: Being an Effective Child Advocate

ADVOCATING AT THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE

When a child Advocate is concerned that a child is not on target developmentally, the first step is to visit the pediatrician. However, if after consulting the child’s pediatrician, the pediatrician instructs to “just wait,” an Advocate does not have to wait.  Listen to your own instincts and advocate for the child’s care.

ADVOCATING AT SCHOOL

A child Advocate whose child needs more services at school must show up and share with the educational team your concerns, bringing sound research, facts and goals to back up the requests.  Specific meetings are held to determine if a child has special needs and how to best address these needs in an educational environment.  Be sure to request a meeting.


9 TIPS FOR BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL ADVOCATE

  1. Listen to your instincts and get help early.
  2. Learn how to read research, and research a child’s symptoms and diagnoses.
  3. Be proactive not reactive.
  4. Fight for proper school placement.
  5. Fight for proper medical treatment.
  6. Research any financial aid available outside of insurance coverage.
  7. Seek the advice of your Advocate Supervisor or peers.
  8. Read the best books on child advocacy.
  9. Put together the ideal therapy team and lead it. Don’t wait for therapists to talk to you; request staffings (meetings) with the team to discuss your child’s progress.

Training Questions:

  1. Where are two places you can advocate for your child during a case?
  2. Why do you think these areas are critical to a child’s development?
  3. Explain how you can improve your advocacy efforts on your current case.

To receive 1 hour worth of training credit, read the above article and submit answers to the accompanying training questions to Elisabeth Reise at ereise@casa-satx.org.