Thursday, March 4, 2010
My son has learning differences, things that make the typical environment more challenging for him. I've been nudging him along in the self-advocacy arena, making sure he has a voice in things. The other day I finally decided it was time to immerse him in self-advocating. He only gets one elective and they've slated him for drama (something he has less than zero interest in). I would like for him to have an elective that he truly enjoys, one of his choosing. These are often the things we remember from school.
My son is a go with the flow kinda' guy. Don't upset the apple cart too much. So as drama loomed ever closer, his nerves finally took over and he began to talk to me about how he really does not want to be in drama. Generally I'm a "try it, you might like it" type person. However, my son has some valid reasons, tied to his disabilities, why drama is not a good fit for him.
I was so tempted to jump in and rescue him from this situation. Instead, I taught him the words "self-advocating" and chose to make this an intro into him dealing with this on his own. Make no mistake, I've got his back if things go horrible awry. Something tells me they won't though. He gets the pride and fulfillment of solving this issue and that will bolster him in future rounds of self-advocacy. It's important that my kiddo and others like him (those with disabilities) give voice to their needs and be able to say "This makes a difference to my education and my life. I too matter." We all contribute to shaping this world.