As children get older, they should have enough information and support so they can participate actively in decisions that affect them.
All children can be encouraged to communicate their likes, dislikes and what they want to achieve.
As your child gets older you can teach your child to speak up and self-advocate.
- It’s good to start early.
- Children need to learn that their opinions are important.
- They will keep working on skills over time and will begin to develop the mindset that they have the right to speak up and be heard.
- Talk with your child about their strengths and what is challenging for them.
- Remind your child that asking for help is a good thing.
- Demonstrate and rehearse phrases they can learn to say when they are speaking up for themselves.
- Praise your child’s efforts at speaking up.
- Encourage your child to understand how adaptations made in the classroom that are made can be helpful.
- Encourage your child to fully utilise adaptations and tell the teacher how these personalised arrangements are working.
- If your child has an Education Support Group, invite them to attend all or some of the meetings and encourage your child to have input into these.
- Goal setting and the ability to give feedback is an important way for your child to be involved.
Below are a few example questions that you can use to include a child in the planning process.
- “How do you feel about that?” – A question to get your child to contribute to the discussion.
- “What would you like to say, show, or ask? What would you like to tell us?” – Allows your child to build self-advocacy skills and know that their opinion is valued.
- “What things do you really like to do?” – Includes your Childs voice in the planning.
- “What do you think you’re really good at?” – Acknowledges your child’s strengths.
- “What would you like to work towards?” – Help your child identify goals.