Saturday, February 19, 2011

Self-Advocacy: Where Do We Start

I have had self-advocacy on my mind alot lately. I suppose it is because I see alot of what my oldest daughter accomplishes since she know how to advocate for herself. I have also been thinking about how we got to this point.

It is going to sound funny but we started so simple. Somewhere early on like 5 or 6 years old I realized that Dominoe did not make choices. Choices my oldest two boys had been making since as early as 3 years old.

Choices like which shirt or which pair of socks. Dominoe did not do that. Now in all honesty argueing with the boys over which pair of pants was a real chore. It also seemed important that they could do that.

I started presenting Dominoe with limited choices. It was things like the red shirt or the blue shirt. I had to wait because she did not want to choose. I even had to have them both in my hand so she could see them before she could choose.

Gradually she started to choose though. Eventually over the years she could choose types of food. Later still she could choose bowling or the movies. Now she can choose working at Burger King or working at Walmart.

Making choice is probably the single most important skill towards Dominoe learning self-advocacy skills. She learned she was supposed to choose. She learned to make choices. She also learned the consequence of those choices.

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