All parents need to speak up, or advocate, for their children to make sure they are treated fairly. Just as you speak up for your child on the playground or in school, you also need to speak up for your child's special needs. This means speaking up for your child's needs with health care providers, educational professionals, and health plans.

Tips on Speaking Up for Your Child

  • Remember that you are the expert about your child. Be prepared to provide information about your child's special needs, strengths and weaknesses, and accommodations that have worked.

  • "Knowledge is power," says one parent of a child with special needs. Get information from more than one place and more than one person. Use all the information you have to speak up for your child's needs.

  • Go to meetings, workshops and conferences. These are great places to learn ways to speak up for your child. Also, you can talk to other parents and learn about what works for them.