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How an Advocate can Change a Child’s Life

Here’s a fun story of how being involved and having a good support system can really help an advocate change a child’s life.

I bet the life of an advocate for children with learning delays sounds pretty boring to most people. You may be surprised to know that there are many times in a week that I am BEYOND JAZZED about the changes I get to witness. Changes for a child of course but also the changes that I don’t even anticipate. I call those: the happy little surprises.

I’ll never forget the email that I received to schedule a phone conference related to an energetic little girl that struggled with classroom learning. To clarify for you why this was something so unforgettable, the typical messages I receive are from parents of children that spearhead the involvement of the teachers and/or the school. What was so remarkably different this time was the email came directly from the principal. She wanted to know what was different.  (Happy little surprise #1).

There already existed a very positive and direct line of communication between both parents and this girl’s teachers; the difference was the unique and specific supports that were introduced in the home with my help. After 5 weeks, things were shifting and significant improvements were seen in focus, attendance, sequential patterning, transitions, spelling, math, reading, and even after school activities. (Happy little surprises #2-#8).

The phone call was brief. This principal asked me to share details (with parental approval of course). What happened then? (Happy little surprise #9)! The principal asked me to come meet her in person and tour the campus. If memory serves me, I think I spun in my office chair! I couldn’t wait to meet the teachers and see the school for myself.

When I arrived at the school, it was the usual sign-in and name badge entry. Then came the principal, who instead of shaking my hand, hugged me! (Happy little surprise #10).  She proceeded to show me the small, tidy rooms through a series of maze-like hallways, while introducing me to passers-by. This lovely lady led me to a larger classroom where all the desks had been moved together into a big circle. She explained that we were having ‘’adult circle time’’ and that I was going to lead the panel discussion. (Happy little surprise #11).

A lively chat about brain development, challenges in each age range, games, tidbits, and specific questions about daily troubleshooting ensued. We shared a lot of laughs as well; belly holding moments actually (Happy little surprise #12). When we came to the end of the hour, long chat and the subsequent goodbyes from each person, the principal led me back to the front entrance. That’s when happy little surprise #13 hit me. She informed me that EVERY SINGLE faculty member was in our circle time; including music, art, PE, 3 after school activity volunteers and 4 room mothers.

So now, after reading about one of my many seemingly boring afternoons – you may understand a tiny bit more about how the “happy little surprises” keep me JAZZED about being an advocate.

In the role of advocate, Mrs. Lascano draws upon experiences utilizing sensory motor movement, negotiation/conflict resolution, coaching, positive psychology, drug development, and outside-the-box tools. Connections between Neuro Touch Inc. and other local professionals ensures additional options and resources can be provided to those who are seeking help for a child or family concern.

Written by Heather Lascano

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