Thursday, August 26, 2010

Becoming an Advocate for My Child

I think back to when I was pregnant with Doodle and all of the hopes and dreams I carried for her. Back when life is brand new, you rarely consider how much you will need to stand up for your child in this world. The world was in awe of my brand new baby, and so was I. As Doodle grew and sank deeper and deeper into autistic tendencies, I have learned how strong my motherhood instincts really are. It's really tough to go against the grain - to stand up for your child when every one around you disbelieves what you are saying. It's really tough to find strength and courage to say what you know is right.

The past two years I have learned how to be the voice for my child, when she couldn't speak. This past week I have had to stand up again and fight for what was right for Doodle. I learned this week that the Kindergarten teacher she was assigned to would not be a good fit for Doodle. A good friend's daughter had this same teacher and the experience in this classroom has had tremendous consequences for her daughter by giving her a fear of reading. I am so thankful I found this information out prior to school starting. I need Doodle to be successful - to enjoy reading and feel like she can do it (because she can!)

Out came the protective mama bear in me. I immediately called the principal and requested a new teacher. I also visited other local schools - just in case the principal was unwilling to move Doodle. Fortunately, the principal acquiesced, and found a better teacher for Doodle. I'm thrilled with the new selection and know Doodle will thrive in this new environment. 

I've had to do the same thing with Doodle's diet. So many people have been skeptical that a diet works for autistic kids. So many people think I'm crazy (including her doctor). I'm so glad I didn't listen to them. Doodle is thriving - a happy, social, well-rounded kid with tremendous potential. I encourage all you parents out there to hang in there. If you see progress in your child while on this diet, don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and your child! I've been there, you, too, can overcome the doubt and uncertainty. Your child is worth it.

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