As a parent it is just part of our roles to advocate for our children. We advocate for them from the time they are born until long after they leave our sides. But what does advocate really mean? The Merriam-Webster definition of advocate is: one that supports or promotes the interests of another OR one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal. These two definitions look so straight forward and easy right? Then why is it that when you advocate for a child with special needs does it feel like a fight and not just support?
The definition of the verb form of fight is: exert oneself continuously, vigorously, or obtrusively to gain an end or engage in a crusade for a certain cause or person; be an advocate for. This seems to fit the feeling of what it is like to advocate for a child with a disability. I have never had a problem standing up for myself or anything that I strongly believe in. However, it seems that being an advocate for my daughter, Emily, sometimes feels more like a constant battle with insurance companies, the county, school system, doctor's offices and more.
When you are out there advocating for your child, remember that if you do not speak up for them no one else will. You as a parent are the only one who knows everything there is to know about your child. You are their voice when their voice can not be heard. If you don't "fight" for what you feel is important for your child's well being then they will most likely go without it. Do not let 'others' wear you down. In the words of Bob Marley: "Get up, stand up: stand up for your (their) rights! Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!"