Advocacy Support

Advocacy support encompasses working with both parents and students to assist in their knowledge of students’ legal rights, particularly Individual Education Plans for special education remediation, and 504 Plans that can provide important accommodations in the classroom. Advocacy also includes developing awareness of cognition – how our brains receive, process, and apply information; awareness of learning strengths and weaknesses, and learning styles. Advocacy training also teaches students when and how to appropriately ask for help, and receive it. From this awareness rises the ability to begin asking for, expecting, and receiving appropriate services. Advocacy support is developed concurrently, when needed, as educational therapy progresses, or can be provided without concurrent remediation in certain situations. Advocacy support can also involve working with the student’s school, when necessary. Help in developing a support team for the student (classroom teacher, resource specialist, other specialists, parents, educational therapist, and others) can make a dramatic difference in student success. Support in developing appropriate specific individual education plans, working with school staff on academic accommodations for class work, homework, and/or testing can also be extremely helpful for both parents and students. Students with learning differences need a champion, an advocate who expresses optimism for the present and their future. A patient, persevering advocate who models advocacy will teach students that they can be their own spokesperson at home, at school, at play, at work, and into the future. Advocacy engenders independence and self-esteem.

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