How to Advocate for Children with All Abilities with an Interview from Heather Avis
4 Questions with an Exclusive Interview with Heather Avis
1. Why did you decide to share your personal story with the world through this book?
2. What advice would you give to families with children with special needs?
3. What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?
This past year we've had annual passes to Disneyland and we LOVE to go to Disneyland. We go at least a couple times a month, it's a blast. We also love to go to the beach or the park. Our weekly family movie nights are a favorite with the kids. We order take out food and get to eat dinner while watching a movie. None of us are homebodies so we love a good adventure.
4. What are some ways that we can be better advocators for our children (or if we don't have children with special needs how can we advocate for this population)?
We need to insist that the people around us see our kids as “perfect” just as they are. We need to be insisting that our schools and churches and communities etc. create the spaces our kids need to be the best versions of themselves. This can be hard work depending on what part of the country you live in. For us, we work closely with our IEP team helping them see the worth of our kids. I make sure to develop good relationships with the other kids and parents at the schools, setting up playdates, etc. We put our kids in local dance classes and gymnastics classes. We go into every situation assuming our child is competent and expect those around them to assume the same. If you do not have a loved one with different abilities I think it's important to be intentional in developing relationships with the people in your community who are different than you. If your child does not have anyone in their classroom who is differently abled go to your district and administration and let them know this is unacceptable. Recognize how much we have to learn from people with different abilities and how our world is better off is we are doing life side by side.
Heather, thank you so much for opening up and sharing your story of your life experiences! You are such an inspiration and I hope to have the ability to touch others lives in a way that you are able to reach out to others in your book. I would highly recommend this book if you are a family that is going through some struggles or some hard decisions, especially if you are dealing with infertility or thinking about adoption in your family. Heather is a wonderful person to look up to and I cannot say enough great things about her book and the person that she is!
Here is the link to purchase the book: The Lucky Few: Finding God's Best in the Most Unlikely Places
Please let me know if you have read this book or if you are going to read it in the comments below!
Are you someone needing to find support and encouragement with other special needs families? Read about the 24 Amazing Online Support Groups and Blogs for Special Needs Families where you can get FREE access to these groups and blogs!