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Advocating for your child

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Parents want what is best for their children. They also understand the needs of their child and are the best people to speak up on behalf of their child to get the services and support they need.  As parents, you may need to go into bat for your child. And to do this effectively you will need to learn to advocate.

Advocacy is about speaking on behalf of your child to negotiate for services and support. The time where many parents need to become effective advocates is when their child goes to school. But there will be many situations before school that your advocacy skills can benefit your child. Finding early intervention and starting child care or preschool are all situations where you may need to negotiate for your child’s needs.

Being an advocate for our child is not always easy. You need to know what you want for your child. You need to be well-informed. You need to plan and prepare. You will need documentation to support your arguments. You need to negotiate – to be calm but assertive.

In turn, you can teach your child to advocate for him- or herself. You will not always be on hand to speak up on your child’s behalf. Give your child the confidence to speak up and be clear about their needs. Your child could benefit from meeting someone older than them with a hearing loss – sharing personal experiences with a mentor can provide confidence and guidance for young people negotiating their needs at school and the wider world.

Below are some helpful resources to help you advocate for your child.

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