In it’s most basic form, self advocacy is the ability to speak up for what you need to be successful in social and academic situations. Its development starts at an early age. When a child asks for clarification or repetition of a direction, they are applying a simple yet powerful self advocacy skill. The inability to apply these skills can lead to confusion, frustration, and reduced independence. But if utilized, they can help kids gain confidence, self awareness, and problem solve across various situations. The needs of our kids with IEP’s are more nuanced, so it is very important that we teach these skills. Natural times to start talking to your child about their strengths/weaknesses and how to ask for accommodations can be during transitions between grades, into college, summer camp, group home, or employment.
Here are some helpful resources to get these conversations going: