For Parents Advocating for a Child with Disabilities, Here’s the Golden Rule: If You Don’t Ask for It, You Won’t Get It!

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I have a new piece out in New Jersey Family Magazine on advocating for your child with special needs. It starts here:

My husband and I welcomed our son into the world with the calm conviction of experienced parents. Jonah was our fourth child, and we were pros at child rearing, fluent in the language of raising kids. Feeding schedule? Check. Separation anxiety? Check. Toilet training? Check. Education? Check.

But Jonah isn’t typical. When he was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic mutation that can lead to intellectual impairments, learning disabilities and autistic-like behavior, especially in boys. Suddenly, we were lost, desperately trying to master the vocabulary of a language we never imagined having to learn.

But here we are. And maybe you’re here, too. Parenting a child is hard work. Parenting a child with special needs is harder. The developmental bell curve is more divergent, the stakes seem bigger, emotions run high and educational advocacy is more complex. But here’s the good news: You have more rights and power than you think.

Read the rest here.

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