Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Fine Line

I have been learning in the past few months that there is a fine line between advocating for your child and helping him advocate for himself, with a lot of gray areas in between.

Through some of the group emails, I am also much more aware of the gradient degrees of social communications disabilities. I’ve read of the sorrow of parents who have realized that their child will always struggle. I’ve read of the determination of other parents to ensure that their child will achieve all that she can, whatever that might mean.

I am acutely aware that, while my own son certainly will wrestle with his problems (as do all children and young adults), he is much more capable of self-advocacy than others. And I am grateful for that gift.


Michael Bryson said...

I was very engaged by this post. My step-son has NLD and his 9. We have been told numerous times that he needs to learn to self-advocate. Most of the time, this takes the form of: "I need help. Please do this for me." It's sometimes hard to get a grip on. Especially when his 5-year-old sister refuses help consistently. It's sometimes a hard balance, but we are committed to working it through. However long it takes.

PatK said...

I understand that - we have a daughter who is six years younger than our son. She has artistic talent and fine motor skills that are lacking in my son -- and both her parents for that matter! So there was always a small worry that my son would resent that or that he would feel less accomplished by comparison. That's why it's so important to encourage and praise your stepson for every success. At 9, my son was getting a lot of hands-on help in addition to that encouragement. He took longer to reach almost every developmental milestone, but he always seems to get there!