As I sit and reflect on things that I have heard from parents and the things happening in society I am reminded of what my role is as an ADVOCATE. When I look up the word Advocate in the dictionary the meaning is:
a person who argues for or supports a cause or policy
We live in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! EVERY parent has a right to advocate for their child and their needs. Whether we are advocating for better healthcare, better schools, better laws to protect our children, better foods to feed our children, equal rights for children with disabilities, the right to try new medications or therapies, etc. We may not agree in this country BUT we as citizens have a right to use our voices to get what our children need and deserve. Parents I have listened to you and heard your voices! We MUST stand together and USE OUR VOICES! I feel for parents as I listen to them tell about their child and their seizures as well as the disability they have. I see the pain, anger, and fear in their eyes as they search for help. Change does not come with silence…. It comes with passion and never giving up! These days are hard and overwhelming, I know. Do not be discouraged! TImes are changing. The world will have to change with the times. If Rosa Parks would have given up her seat on the bus and accepted “her role” as a black woman on that December day in 1955 we would still have segregation today in 2015. Rosa Parks once said, ” I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
So as I end this blog post, parents I am here to encourage you and remind you that you are the EXPERT on your child! You are the one that knows your child and their needs better than anyone else in this world! I will leave you with one more quote:
I want to make this perfectly clear: you can be sure that I will never be a yes-man except to my own conscience. -Charles Edison, son of Thomas Edison
I look forward to the next year, 6 years, 26 years and beyond of watching ADVOCATES use their voices and not being “yes-men”.