Saturday, April 12, 2008

Simple Advocacy-Day Thirteen

Call a family meeting. If you have a terrific extended family unit that supports your challenging parenting situation without being asked, consider yourself blessed. The reality is that many families lack such valuable support. But rather than fret and fume and hope people will step up and offer the support and understanding you need, call a user-friendly family meeting or group dinner and tell them. 

Most people can't read our minds.  Big surprise, huh?

Let everyone know exactly what you need and expect from them, while also hearing and responding calmly to their concerns. Help others better understand your child and his/her needs to help increase comfort levels and promote greater understanding and action.  If you wait for relatives to reach out to you first, you may be sorely disappointed. Just because someone is related by blood, does not guarantee they can or will offer the support you need.  Special needs often makes family dynamics increasingly complex, especially if key relationships are already strained.  But charity does (or should) begin at home.

So speak up and ask for what you need.  You might end up with some great new childcare offers for valuable time away, along with a renewed appreciation for the term 'family'.  That's a win-win for all.

It's amazing what a simple phone call can do....
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

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