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Confessions of an Advocating Mom: To them she's one of many. To me she's everything.

Categories: Disability Type, Learning Disabilities, Parenting, Uncategorized

Advocating for your child is hard. Learning the proper words to use. Photo of DaughterThe laws. The rights. Trying to predict your child's needs. Being careful to not cross the line between accommodating a need and enabling helplessness. You think you've finally got it right and then BOOM, not working. So you pivot. You change things up for the 78th time. You make calls you don't want to make. You send emails you don't want to send. You are the voice of someone who has not yet found theirs and it's your duty to make sure they're heard. It's uncomfortable. It makes you unpopular with some. You feel like you're a bother. You feel like everyone thinks you're overreacting, overbearing, a crazy mom. Truth is even without 100's of pages of testing and documents to prove you are none of the above it still hurts when you hear the condescending tone, see the eye roll and know that several people have discussed how to "handle" the situation before you show up. It's intimidating. They discuss with you a "student" but they forget that you grew this human being INSIDE YOUR BODY.  That you wished for her and dreamt a million dreams of her, her future, who she'd grow to be. But you never expected this part. The challenges she faces daily, how very much it affects every area of her life. How inadequate it makes you feel that you can't fix it, that you can't carry that burden for her. They see a struggling student wrapped up in a beautiful package. I see a beautifully complicated old soul, compassionate, resilient, creative with so many gifts to share. Gifts that don't fit into any curriculum. To them she's one of many. To me she's everything. She deserves someone who will go to bat for her over and over again. Someone who believes that she's capable of so much more. Someone that will make sure that she's working to her full potential. Someone that is willing to show up. Even when it's scary. Even when it's unknown. Even when it's easier not to. Every child deserves that much. Photo of CourtneyAbout the Author:  Courtney Jager is a mom of three, amateur advocate, and an essential oil educator. As a Learning Ally parent, she is a part of our Learning Ally family.

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