Monday, January 23, 2012
ADVOCACY does NOT have a look…. because its an ACTION!!
Today I want to talk about Advocacy and being an Advocate. Webster defines Advocacy as “the act or process of pleading in favor of or supporting a cause or proposal” and it defines an Advocate as “one that supports or promotes the interests of another.”
In all that I do publicly, to promote Autism awareness, Special Needs awareness, legislative changes, sensitivity from the able-bodied community, sensitivity from the differently-abled community, and educational inclusion; Advocacy does not have to look the way it looks when I do it.
You can advocate from home, from work, on the phone, through the mail, through the internet or in person. In my mind, advocacy means that you are standing up for what is right based on what YOU believe. My passion is Autism and Special Needs, but that may not be what you are passionate and advocating for. It doesn’t really matter because Advocacy is Advocacy; you are standing up for what you believe. Don’t compare what you do as “not enough” or “too much” for your cause, based on what you see someone else doing or not doing. Advocacy comes from your heart and does not have to be vocal, public, or known by others if you don’t want it too.
I got an email from a friend the other day that made my heart smile. It read, “I don't know if you hear this enough but congrats on all the wonderful things you are doing to support Autism. We are all advocates for all children of Autism and not just our own child but all children, but we can't all get out there to the public and do it as you can. So from all of us Mom's that are doing it from our hearts and home, we thank you for speaking out for our children. I don't believe our children have special needs, they are just SPECIAL in our hearts.”
It made me think about all those parents of children with special needs who are out there advocating for their children in their homes daily by working with them repeatedly on tasks that may seem simple to others but are hard for our children. By keeping in touch with teachers constantly on their child’s progress, and what to work on next. By calling and emailing legislators to make their concerns, known about pending laws that may affect their children. By explaining their child’s different-ability to neighbors, friends, and family member so that they are educated on the condition; and in turn create more advocates through them. By spending thousands of dollars to get their child the services they need (some paid by insurance, some not). By educating themselves so, they can better teach their child. By doing all kinds of things, in all kind of different ways, to advocate for their child and their cause.
So to all you parents, family members, friends, teachers, therapist and legislators who are advocating for what you believe in; I thank you for making your opinion known, in whatever way you are doing it. Your voice is heard through your actions. Therefore, I say to you all of those advocating for children with Autism and Special Needs, the same thing my girlfriend said to me “I don't know if you hear this enough but congrats on all the wonderful things you are doing to support Autism/Special Needs.” So Glad God Chose Me to appreciate your advocacy and you being an advocate.
Laugh Loud Story--> JP and Michelle went to JPs Special Olympics-Young Athletes class this weekend. He was a little over stimulated at first because there were a lot of children there, (much more than usual); after a while (walking around with hands over his ears and standing in a corner) he soon warmed up and was comfortable with his surroundings. I asked him and Michelle if they wanted to play with a Hula Hoop. They both said “Yes,” and immediately Michelle took it and started to Hula. She was doing a great job and Hula-ing for a long time. JP was desperately trying to imitate her, but was quickly getting frustrated. I saw how annoyed he was getting and told him to “keep trying.” He kept trying and all of a sudden I heard him yelling, “Mommy-Mommy, I got it….I got it. I can Hula Hoop------ I found my wiggle”!! Hahahaha, he sure did, he was very excited and got better and better as the class went on. Needless to say, virtual Hula Hooping on Wii-Fit will no longer keep him content. Off to Toys R’ Us we go, its Hula time lol!!!!
Take Care!!! Laugh Loud, Think Positive and Dream Bigg!!
Twitter -> @Pam_Mines
Facebook -> God Chose Me
Website -> www.GodChoseMe.com