The Essentials of Advocacy: A Parent’s Guide to Advocating for their Child with Special Needs

Essentials of Advocacy

Presented by Deborah Pugh, Executive Director, ACT – Autism Community Training

This presentation highlights essential information for parents, and the professionals who support them, in understanding the systems that control access to services for children with special needs. Many of the examples are from British Columbia’s education system, but the basic principles of effective advocacy apply to most jurisdictions. The materials presented in this workshop include guidance to empowered families to understand their rights, roles and responsibilities with practical information on how to achieve their advocacy goals.

Deborah Pugh has been an active advocate on behalf of children and adults with special needs for over 20 years, following a career as a foreign correspondent. For details of Deborah’s work see the ACT Staff page.

Download the supplementary handout for The Essentials of Advocacy

Part 1: Introduction (11:24)

Part 2: The Big Picture: What is Advocacy? (9:32)

Part 3: Building a Team / Why Advocate? (10:55)

Part 4: Geographic Differences: Laws or Services (7:20)

Part 5: The Autism Dimension in B.C. (4:54)

Part 6: Finding the Information You Need (ACT Resources) (23:13)

Part 7: Keep the Focus on Your Child – Developing a Profile (10:31)

Part 8: Question & Answer Period (7:56)

Part 9: The Mechanics of the School System (16:01)

Part 10: Hierarchy of Policy (7:36)

Part 11: People in the System: Roles and Responsibilities

Part 12: Advocacy Skills: Documentation, Letters, Meetings and Appeals (15:37)

Part 13: Question & Answer Period (18:40)

Part 14: Internal and External Appeals (14:19)

Part 15: The Professional Colleges & Human Rights Tribunal (11:23)

Part 16: Your Behavior Skills / Writing Effective Letters (14:46)

Part 17: Building Effective Relationships (15:44)

Part 18: Assertive Statements or Sentence Starters (11:53)

Part 19: Collaboration (7:07)

Part 20: Mistakes and Solutions (11:53)

Part 21: Q&A – Assessments, Access to Learning Resource Teacher or SLP, the Future (21:48)