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.

Advocacy Situations:

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 information Wrightslaw 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.


Advocacy means to speak up or plead for the cause of another. In this case, to understand how to advocate for your child's needs.