Advocacy

Need someone in your corner?

Sometimes parents can find themselves in a meeting with up to 10 professionals advising on what should happen with their son or daughter.  They may not know many of the people, and some may not have met the child.  It is a rare parent who is not intimidated in such a situation.

Similarly, many families are intimidated by a school principal as it brings back memories of our school days! You may feel overwhelmed and isolated, particularly if you do not agree with what is happening.

Often parents leave such meetings with feelings of anger, frustration and “I should have said”.  Individuals who have been labelled may feel that their views are not really considered except in a token way, and feel ‘badgered’ into accepting something that they did not really want.

Just having someone with you to help guide the meeting in your direction and support what you are saying can make a huge difference.  A friend or neighbour can fulfil this role, but sometimes you need someone with some expertise and experience that is not intimidated in such meetings.  Include can fulfil his advocacy role.  We try to minimise charges for this service but we do have to charge if the support is extensive.  Some idea of charges can be found by clicking here.

School Inclusion

Worried about your child not belonging at school? Perhaps your child has a defined label such as ‘autism’ and you are uncertain about the best school alternatives.  Perhaps you are being advised that your child would receive the best education in a segregated ‘Special Education’ Unit or Centre (note, this is almost certainly untrue based on over 40 years of research).

Include can assist by:

  •  Advising on the best type of schooling based on research.
  • Advising on things to do to prepare your child for school and school transitions.
  • Advising on things you can do at home to assist your child’s inclusion and educational development.
  • Attending meetings with the school to work out ways to maximise inclusion.
  • With school permission, advise the teacher on strategies in the classroom and work collaboratively in the classroom with the teacher and teacher assistant.
  • Carry out objective, skill based assessments which remain the property of the family, where the results won’t be released to other parties except with family permission or where forced by a court of law.  Note that we will not carry out formal IQ testing as this is almost always used to the detriment of the child.  However, we will carry out developmental assessments which give data that are much more useful to a teacher.
  • Where necessary, advocate* for the child and family at a school, District or Departmental level.

*Note that we won’t advocate for something that we believe is not in the individual’s best interests (which in most cases means segregated schooling or other segregated options).  In such cases we will advise the person or family of our position and if possible advise of someone who might be able to help them.  We respect the individual’ right to choose and parents as the best people to make decisions for their child but believe it is inappropriate to support an action which we believe will be detrimental to the person.