I can’t believe its August and before we all know it, it is back to school and the summer is over. I’ve done lists of back to school tips before, but today we’re going to talk about self-advocacy. It’s a term a lot of you who read books on ism’s/challenges have heard and you know it is something your child will have to learn.
I bring up self-advocacy because it is a term that’s bounced back and forth a lot in my house these days. I turned 18 a few weeks ago and I know being an adult carries responsibility. I’m headed off to college and know it means I’m on my own more than before. It’s my job to stick up for myself and if I need any accommodations or help, I will have to seek it.
- The most important thing with self-advocacy isn’t knowing what you need, but simply being aware and comfortable with your diagnosis and your ism’s. I am fully aware of my autism, my strengths and weaknesses. I am comfortable being me and in my own skin, so I don’t have an issue talking about it. I know some people aren’t comfortable talking about themselves, and it is really important to be able to understand what you have, what you’re good at, and what you may or may not need help with.
- In the adult world, it’s also important to know who may be able to help you. If you are going to college, find out who is in charge of the Disabilities Office and get in contact with them. Introduce yourself, offer to help, and explain what ism’s you have even if you were required to file documentation in order to receive services. The Disabilities Office is a great go-to if you need anything, and they could certainly help you if there is any issue that arises (scheduling, learning styles, supports, etc.).
- If you are not in college, there are resources to help you become more independent, such as programs before starting college, resources like CARD centers, etc. These places have specially trained professionals who will be able to help with self-advocacy and prepare you for the adult world.
I’m not an expert on self-advocacy, but now that I am an adult (scary thought!), I need to start learning more about it. My parents won’t be able to explain things for me, so I will have to take this challenge on in order to have certain things work properly in my life.
If any of you have any good “adult” tips as well, feel free to leave them in the comments, because I would love to know.
Have a wonderful back to school everyone! 🙂 I’m going to be moving up to my dorm before we all know it!