Being a mother of four children is a tough job. Being a mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes adds yet another layer of responsibility. You see, when you have a child with a need, be it medical, temporary or lifelong, you must be your child’s best advocate!
I have to come to realize that this is true for many parents whether they have a special needs child in school or homeschool. If you have a child that requires extra care or concerns then you must fight for your child because no one else will. No one else will know how to love and care for your child like you, the parent, know how to do.
At first this may seem a little silly. Why wouldn’t a parent provide and protect their own child? Why wouldn’t you fight for your child? But being your child’s advocate is no easy task. When you have more than one child your time is already divided amongst them. When you have a child requiring special care then you are already taking extra time with that child for day-to-day care, as well as extra doctors visits.
Parenting any child is not a simple task. Some people act like each and every child on the planet are always behaved and well-mannered and never act up. Some people scoff if your child is different than their “perfect angels”. Society makes it seem like you are a failure if your child is different, if you as a parent lose your cool or if, heaven forbid, you are tired before noon.
Society GET A GRIP! Parenting is tough! Rally around those who have a child or children that need extra care. Why am I writing this you might ask? Because you need to hear it so that YOU can be aware that many parents are barely making it through the day and some tired, worn out parent needs to be encouraged.
With Type 1 Diabetes and the constant need for insulin and medical supplies I may have to advocate for my son monthly! This didn’t start when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Nope, I was his advocate since toddlerhood when the pediatrician said he needed to get a speech evaluation. The doctor wanted to refer us to the children’s hospital where the wait was at least 3 months, I said no thank you. I will call the county Help Me Grow program which resulted in a 2 week wait. Eldest then had weekly playgroup and in home visit for speech till he was 3 years old.
So you see your child may need an advocate earlier. With each of our children we kept them in our room at the hospital instead of passing the newborn off to the nurses in the nursery. We held their hands and talked to them or nursed them during medical procedures. We opted out of extra tests when not needed. We even fired a pediatrician when she insisted we vaccinate our child for more things then we felt comfortable allowing . If we feel that our child’s care and well-being are not taken into the utmost consideration by medical personnel then we will find someone who does.
There are many different situations that parents may find themselves in where they need to be an advocate for their child. There are rules and regulations from IFSP’s to IEP’s to 504 Plans that help set some guidelines in place but parents must know how to use these as a tool. If your child is gifted or strong-willed that may also present “a problem” in society.