30 Jun My motivation for advocacy…
When life gave me lemons, I was determined to make lemonade! I could’ve just stuck my head in the sand or cried for help when those lemons started coming in droves. But that’s not how I was raised. As the oldest of two and being six years apart I naturally grew up being protective and nurturing. I had no idea those qualities would help to fashion the woman I’ve become; educated, determined, dedicated, loyal, passionate, and a strong advocate for not only my own children, but also for the community of children and families I’ve come to know and treasure.
I had to learn how to navigate the numerous challenges we faced due to our son’s diagnosis and his learning challenges. Unfortunately, the educational system was not at all helpful nor did it speak in terms we could understand. I would research and seek as much information possible to learn the language and ways to finally get the services necessary for our son to be successful. With my husband at my side, we would armor ourselves with knowledge and ask questions of the professionals I would later learn most parents would not dare ask!
My motivation was and continues to be our son.
I learned how to achieve what was thought to be unattainable, getting the educational supports he needed to learn in the manner he learned best. He was able to graduate with a standard diploma when the educators said he would never be able to. He then went on to college and received his degree in Crime Scene Technology. He now has a successful career and lives independently. Knowing it was through perseverance and pure determination that we were able to have the outcome we did. I knew I had to share what I had learned with other families to help them receive the appropriate supports for their children to succeed in the educational system, too.