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7 Ways to Be an Everyday Advocate for Your Child with Autism

by Erin Dower

Standing up for your child with autism isn't easy, but every parent can learn the skills to become a powerful advocate and help improve the system for people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). One mother of a child with autism, and a legal expert on ASD, has advice for taking control and turning an overwhelming situation into something empowering. Areva Martin, Esq., offers these "Seven Principles of Advocacy" in her book, The Everyday Advocate: Standing Up for Your Child with Autism. These key principles may help you get the services and attention your child deserves in school and in life.

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Principle 1 – Take Responsibility: Be a Leader

Martin's Advice: Accepting a leadership role as an advocate for your child will bolster your position in encounters with doctors, teachers, caregivers, therapists and others who offer services to your child with autism. You are on a steep learning curve and cannot change things overnight – but do your best and over time you will make a difference.

Next: Principle 2 – Learn: Be an Expert

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