I added a new blog link http://thinkingautismguide.blogspot.com/ to the list. Todays post http://thinkingautismguide.blogspot.com/2011/09/self-advocateparent-dialogues-day-one.html is a thought provoking post for sure. I plan to follow this blog all week because I think that I will learn a lot.
My son was diagnosed in May and I realize that I am still learning. I am still soaking it all in. I am a parent of a child on the spectrum and I want to do everything to protect and help my son. But I also try to recognize that sometimes that means stepping back and letting him advocate for himself.
It is difficult to let him advocate for himself in everyday life. I think this would be hard even if he didn’t have a disability. He is only 14 and may not always make good decisions, lord knows I didn’t make the best decisions when I was 14.
On the other hand he is 14 and the goal is independence and the only way he can be independent is for me to step back. He has to learn how to make decisions and he has to advocate for himself. If you read my blog you will know that he did this quite successfully last week and I am so proud of him. He is making excellent progress and I hope he continues to make excellent progress. As a parent I want what is best for him and I only want what is best for any kid on the spectrum.
So that is why I try to advocate in general for people on the Spectrum. But I don’t want to fight against people on the spectrum while trying to advocate for them. Someday soon my son will be an adult on the spectrum and I want to fight with him, not against him.
I have seen lots of adults on the spectrum that are able to advocate for themselves. I intend to continue to read, watch, and listen. I hope that as I move forward advocating I learn more how to work beside him others on the spectrum. The ultimate goal would be for us all to work together. I really hope that we can accomplish this.