3 Reasons Why You Need To Advocate For Your Child With Autism

In many parts of modern society, there is a need for advocacy. Put simply, advocacy can be described as pushing for public support on a cause or a topic and can also apply to advocacy for individuals. For example, a parent with a child who has ADHD may advocate on their behalf, asking teachers to allow them more time to complete tests and tasks. Advocacy can also have the aim of raising public awareness of a specific issue. For example, mental health advocates push to make the topic of mental health understood by a wider audience (including those who do not suffer from mental health problems). This can help to raise awareness of the range of mental health conditions and reduce the stigma that may be attached to mental health difficulties. In this article, three reasons why parents need to advocate for a child with autism will be explored.

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1. They may have limited communication skills

Whilst autism is recognized as being on a spectrum (e.g., the effects and severity of the condition may vary from one person to another), a common feature is that people with autism may face challenges in communicating. Speech patterns can be narrow or rigid and children with severe autism may even be non-verbal (i.e., unable to express themselves by using normal language). 

There is a need for parents to act as advocates for children with autism who cannot effectively express themselves. Teachers should be made aware of the child’s condition, and in severe cases of autism, it may be necessary for the child to go to a specialist school. In addition, parents should inform other parents in their neighborhood that their child is autistic. This may help to avoid any misunderstandings that result if the child has behavioral issues. It will also help to educate other children that the autistic child has special needs, allowing for a greater degree of acceptance and understanding among other children.

2. To raise awareness of autism in your community 

Being an advocate for your autistic child will also help to raise awareness of this condition in your community. However, all advocates need to have a wealth of knowledge on the subject so that they can advocate to people of all backgrounds and educational levels, allowing them to understand the condition in more depth. A key way to facilitate this is by researching autism online. There is a wide range of free resources available on the subject, such as can be found at autism.org

In addition, parents may seek to broaden their knowledge on the subject by downloading a comprehensive autism app such as the autism 360 app. Such apps provide a wealth of information on the condition and how it affects children. It can allow you to create plans and schedules that aim to give greater independence and learning opportunities to your child. You may also wish to advocate such apps to your wider community. This will allow them a more complete understanding of autism. It may even help other parents with similarly aged children to organize play dates that are inclusive for your autistic child.

3. Help to eradicate the stigma of autism

As a brief final point, it is vital to understand that advocacy, in its many forms, can improve knowledge of specific topics or issues in the wider community. This can go a long way to reducing stigma and ignorance of conditions such as autism. In short, raising the profile of autism can help your child to become more accepted in society as any fears or lack of knowledge on the subject are eradicated.

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