Momversation: Advocating for your child


Advocating for your child

The timing for this episode couldn't be more perfect. The topic (thanks to Jessica of advocating for your child. Do you? Should you? If so, how? Why?

In Jessica's case, becoming her children's' advocate has meant fighting for the best medical and educational care. In mine, it has meant years of working with the school system to find a workable educational plan for my son.

This episode represents the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my son's school odyssey…something I hope to share more of with you, especially now that we've taken a surprising turn in a new direction in recent weeks: home education. (So much to talk about…I'm still wrapping my head around it all. Stay tuned.)

Daphne of Cool Mom and Rebecca of Girl's Gone Child share their thoughts as well. I'd love to hear yours! Add your comment to this episode's page at

Related: I've done a terrible job posting here when I've got a new Momversation to share. I promise to do better, but in the meantime, you can check out my past Momversations here.


  1. says

    Just real quick, but wanted to wish you luck on your new ‘adventure’! We took our son out of school because it just wasn’t working. He’s on the Autism spectrum, and people think that having him at home must be so hard, but having him at home has been happier for everyone. and i know longer have to fight so hard with the school ‘advocating’ for him.

  2. jess says

    asha – I didn’t want to comment on this on the momversation site because people there are bogged down in semantics… and I think some of the ones who are bogged down are the ones who haven’t had to fight with doctors (and insurance companies) and/or school districts to get their “special needs” child (want to talk about semantics fraught with meaning?) to get the assistance they need and are legally entitled to (in the case of early intervention and schooling).
    I have often been my daughter’s advocate – and have been told by medical professionals, EMTs, PTs, early intervention, and the like that a parent who is informed and organized and advocates for their child’s need is rare.
    so, yes, it is a part of parenting… but it’s a part of parenting that not every parent has to work as hard at as often as others may.

  3. says

    Thanks, Kirsten. Id love to hear more. My son has been home for three weeks, and thats been my experience so far as well. Ten years in and Im still learning that parenting does NOT go by the book. Expectations — even the simplest ones — sometimes have to be left behind. And that experts, even the most well-meaning, never know your kids as well as you do.

    (Forgive the vague philosophizing. Ive got one foot in the big picture of my sons education, and the other in the minute details. As soon as I get closer to balance, I hope to write more about it. Anything Id write right now would probably be too diffuse to be helpful.)

  4. says

    The semantics argument over there is odd…and unusual. I’ve found most comment threads there to be really interesting and respectful.

    Re: your comment: YES! So much I could respond to. I’m out of town right now, but hope we can all talk much more about this in the coming weeks.

  5. says

    Tell me about it. I have been one of those mothers my entire parenting career.

    I loved school. I knew plenty of kids who didn’t. But I happen to have a kid for whom school (at least right now) is damaging. Despite great teachers, caring staff, and a good program, because of my son’s particular neurological makeup, school is at turns deeply frightening and intolerably boring.

    It has taken me over four years to accept this, with progressively more alarming symptoms in my son. I finally could not ignore the simple fact that school was hurting him.

    In a way, we’re here as a last resort, but now that we’ve made the decision I’m excited about it. There are as many ways to homeschool as there are to parent…no “right” way. So in a way, it’s like having a baby again.

  6. says

    Hi, Asha –

    Just wanted to wish you luck and patience on your homeschooling journey. As with anything, the challenges can be great, but so can the rewards. I don’t know if you’ve found any local homeschooling groups, but our local Yahoo group is a wealth of support, knowledge and activities, and I know it would be a much more difficult, lonely road without them.


  7. B Crossman says

    having both home taught and sent my kids to public school, The one thing I do know. You have to do what is best for “YOUR” child. Home School is not for everyone any more tha pubic school is. Each individual student should have to right to learn and excel at their own pace and comfort level, not by age or grade level of the 20 to 30 other people in an age range. As with public school, when you teach at home, you will have such a range of options that you will soon have to pick and choose what works best for you and your child. Have fun. Teachers are not the only ones children learn from. They don’t have an exclusive right to, either.