If your child has autism, and you have put in the work through the appropriate channels to get your child an individual education plan (IEP) and get your child enrolled in early intervention programs and therapy programs, there are still more ways outside of getting your child set-up on an educational level that you can support your child. Just like with a non-autistic child, there are lots of ways you can support your child beyond just getting them the educational resources they need.
#1 Volunteer at School
Take the time to volunteer at your child's school. Sign up to bring in a treat for the Halloween party. Volunteer to count laps at the jog-a-thon. Get involved with the special activates at your child's school, or just come in and volunteer and lend a hand a few times a month. Volunteering will allow you to get to know the school's administrators better, as well as the teacher's at your child's school. Schools can always use volunteer help and volunteering is a great way to get to know your child's school on a different level.
#2 Join a Parent-Teacher Organization
Most schools have a PTA or PTO that you can join. If your child's school has a parent-teacher organization, join on up. This will allow you to connect with the parent community at your child's school. This will help you know what is going on at your child's school.
See if your child's school district has a special education PTA group. This can allow you to connect with other parents who have children with special needs in the district. It can help increase your awareness about resources and events that cater to your child's needs.
#3 Get Involved in the Community
Take your child out in the community. This can be challenge depending on your child's unique needs. However, it is best to start getting your child out in the community at a young age. You want to foster your child's leisure activities. This will provide your family with activities that you can all do together. Exposing your child to leisure activities will also help your child develop interests that will help keep them entertained and happy outside of school hours. Trying new activities will help set your child up to try new activities and be active in their community as they age.
#4 Get an Advocate
Finally, reach out in your community and find a professional advocate for your child. A professional advocate is someone who can look over your child's IEP plan, and make sure that it is meeting your child's need. A professional advocate can check-in throughout the school year and make sure that your child's needs are being met. A professional advocate can be a real asset and provide you with someone to help you with the educational process.
Getting your child the educational help that they need is just the first step in your long journey of supporting your child. Once you have an IEP set up for your child, focus on getting involved in your child's school and community. This can help both you and your child develop important connections and relationships. Contact help, like terri matthews, to get the support you need.