At SenseAble Kids, I am honored to work with fabulous kids who may have a
myriad of sensory, developmental, and emotional needs. Although direct
therapeutic intervention is the primary delivery, part of my practice
encourages the accountability of the team including the child, parent,
significant family members, and the entire team of private, school,
and other healthcare professionals. This accountability may be in the
form of advocacy.
There are multiple situations in which you will have to advocate
for your child. This may be in the form of explaining to other
healthcare professionals what is needed; to educate others as to
your child's needs; and/or by speaking for those who can not.
My intention is to provide you with information so that you will
be better able to do this. In some cases, the information is intended
to empower you to advocate in a school system situation or politically
to make a difference in the lives of your child and others. Therefore,
I first believe one needs to better understand why their child is in
therapy by teaching you normal development as a comparative starting
point to where your child's functional level may fall. Then,
understanding the purpose and reasons why and how the intervention
may impact them better allows you to articulate to others. This basis
of understanding will hopefully evolve so you are comfortable in
advocating for laws to improve the health and welfare of our children
by ensuring laws are passed to provide adequate services and funding
for child directed programs educationally and pertaining to healthcare.
More importantly, it is to make sure that decision makers are aware when
important public policy issues affect our voiceless population.
In some cases, you will have to advocate for your child when
transitioning to a school system. There are multiple programs which
provide services for children beginning at birth thru school age.
The early intervention programs service newborns through 3 years,
then the schools provide the 3 to 5 year programs which go into the
school programs. I believe one needs to become familiar with what the
school law is to best know what is doable. In doing so, you can better
advocate what services are pertinent to your child's needs in
relationship to their educational service.
One way to become more knowledgeable is to become familiar with
provides on their web site. They provide various information and
scenarios often faced by parents securing services in the school
system. In Chicago, Family
Resources also provides some of this mentoring information and is
an invaluable local resource. Information gained is empowering
regardless how minimal you may feel your child's issue may be.
My belief is the more one knows the better they can advocate for
their child to put into place valuable services early while their
nervous system is rapidly developing.
Another way to become a strong advocate is to be aware and educate
oneself about the local and federal mandates as they affect health care
and educational directives. It is critical to monitor current legislation
and understand their potential to impact children's health care
directives. There are always elections so please carefully evaluate
your local candidates regardless of their party. Please not only read
their campaign literature, but also visit their websites to see if they
have formal positions on children's issues and Medicaid reform.
Furthermore, look at their voting record as they may state their support
yet vote unproductively. Unfortunately, IL ranks one of the lowest in
the nation when it comes to special education directives.
As we all know your elective official's job includes listening to
you as a constituent. Unfortunately, many of us are apathetic or too
overwhelmed working the system to have energy to tackle less tangible
global issues. My hope is for everyone to see the total impact this
has and hopefully better understand how Medicaid reform and other
critical children's issues are important to you - because they will
impact the kids who count on care. I cannot emphasize enough how with
your help and others, we can impact and make a difference in the lives
of children today and in the future. Please help ensure that laws are
passed to protect and improve the health, safety and well being of
children. Your involvement, banned with others, will make sure that
all children's needs and concerns are heard when important decisions
are made. Thank you for making yours and others count.