Does Advocating for Your Child With Special Needs Make You a Bully?
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“This mom” has accepted that her child comes with a different set of instructions that aren’t so easy to understand. “This mom” made it her job to become an expert in her child’s challenges so she can teach her to be the best she can be. “This mom” understands that her child’s behaviors could look minimal or be misunderstood, which is why she tries to share her parental experience to help make your job a little easier.
“This mom” has years’ worth of data, reports, and evaluations to prove that her child’s extra needs do indeed exist, as hard as they are to see. “This mom” has watched teachers judge her child in a negative way and make her feel badly about things she was unable to control. “This mom” has seen her child question herself, and it was truly heartbreaking. “This mom” doesn’t think there is anything wrong with her child and she wouldn’t change her for the world.
“This mom” has a child who needs minor accommodations. “This mom” asks for data to back up your recommendations because she has been lied to in the past. “This mom” is trying to make sure her child gets what she is legally entitled to. “This mom” spends more time researching special education law than she wants to.
“This mom” is tired. She is misunderstood. She is her child’s only true advocate. “This mom” just wants you to listen.
You see, the day I became a parent I realized that there was this person in the world I cared about more than myself. In an instant I felt this urge to love and protect this person with everything I had inside of me. But then came the realization that at some point this child may deal with pain or hardship, and that is a hard pill to swallow when you have this overwhelming instinct to shield her from anything difficult.
So, as you can see, all I want is for my children to be happy and successful despite the challenges they face in life. I want what is best for them. I want them to embrace themselves for who they are...warts and all. And wanting all of these things doesn’t make me “that mom” or “this mom.” It just makes me “mom.”
I hope that you can understand my point of view. I want to work with you, not against you. A teacher’s job is often overlooked and undervalued—much like the job of a mother. I hope that we can move forward and work together on creating a happy and well-balanced child. I promise to thank you more and question less. I only ask that you do the same for me.
The mother of “that kid”