Being a champion for change is a trait of most special needs parents. You see what needs to change in the world and you're ready to take it on and get it done.
As a special needs sibling, I've seen my parent's generation do exactly the same thing and you know what... They are burnt out. Not just tired. They literally have no more energy to advocate or push through for better services for their adult children with special needs because they are exhausted.
We have to learn from generations before us and then we can truly change the future. I'm an advocate for a living. I eat, sleep and breath making education better for children with disaiblities, but....I know I can't change the world all at the same time. I have to pick and choose my battles, use the resources around me and get creative with solutions that don't require the laws to change because the bottom line is... My client's kids just don't have the time to wait. We need solutions now.
I also know that I can't change the entire special education system while raising my own children. There is a season for everything. I LOVE advocating and I've found a balance that still allows me to love being a parent at the end of the day.
You can do the same. You can absolutely be a Champion for Change, but please consider starting with the direct issues that effect your child. When you change things for your child, you create a ripple effect that goes further than you will ever know.
When you recognize how much time you really have and what your children need, you can make a difference that literally can last for generations.
Yes, we need people to talk to our Senators, to go on Nationwide awareness tours, to fight for better laws, to let the world know how awesome ALL children are, but you don't have to do all of those and you don't have to do them all at once.
Save your energy, it's going to be a long journey, with an abundance of joy and probably some tears along the way. Your energy and your time are the BIGGEST resources you have for your family. Guard it with kindness. Say no with love to those who are asking you to overextend yourself.
Think about what you can do over the next 90 days for your child that will impact them the most and then think about the ripple effect.
If you change your child's IEP to have more meaningful goals and you teach the teacher how to prioritize your child's school day, you have now impacted the teacher's thought process for hundreds of students that will be in her classroom.
If you educate your doctor on your child's needs, care, and what is happening in your special needs community, you've now opened his eyes to consider other views.
If you go to the library and share that your child needs a wobble seat for story time, you've now educated the librarian that kids who need to move around can sit for her story with just a few different supports.
Tell me.... What can you do in the next 90 days without exhausting yourself that will have a trickle effect for hundreds?