Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Making Your Own Mistakes (as Your Mom Tears Her Hair in the Background): I've been reading a lot lately about self-advocacy as an essential college skill for kids with special needs—most recently, in a post on Different Dream for Your Child—and, sure, of course, it's true. Colleges don't want to talk to the Warrior Mom. If young people can't speak for themselves, they don't get heard. The thing I'm struggling to accept about self-advocacy now, as my daughter makes her way through college, is that it is not a duplicate of mom-advocacy. She doesn't do things the way I'd do, the way I spent years and years doing when fighting for her was my responsibility. That's somewhat crazy-making. I've had to take a deep breath and remind myself that doing things for yourself often means making mistakes, and learning from them, and finding your own solutions that work for you. We don't expect typical kids to make all the right decisions during their college years—in fact, we rather expect spectacular screw-ups as they find their adult legs. Why should kids with disabilities be any different?
Posted by Terri Mauro at 11:30 PM