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Speak Up: Your Guide To Self-Advocacy

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No One Knows You Better Than Yourself

There are lots of experts to help people with developmental disabilities succeed. But the best expert, and the most consistent one,  is often found within. After all, no one knows you better than yourself.

Whether you’ve got the words to express yourself or are reliant on actions alone or others to interpret, Ari Ne’eman, president of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, shares the tools to turn anyone into a self-advocate.

It’s easier than you think. Start small, advises Ne’eman, who is on the autism spectrum himself. The key is to make yourself heard however you can.

“When other people make decisions for you without you, the decisions that are made often don’t fit your needs,” Ne’eman says. “Self-advocacy helps people get the outcomes that they desire and it becomes necessary — as a person grows from a child to an adult — in order to succeed in this world.”

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Comments (3 Responses)

  1. Revrandy says:

    Parents who have children with disabilities need to teach self advocacy. If your child can communicate in anyway, please teach them to stand up for themselves!

  2. pchandler818 says:

    Awesome article and extremely timely for me as I am simultaneously growing into Autism Sel-Advocacy and creating my own Foundation to advocate for the Rights of other Autistic Persons, who don’t yet have the Ability to do so for themselves. My Foundation is going to help Autistic Persons do everythIng for themselves, one day, because I Am. I am 47.8 years old and I was non-verbal from birth until age 7. I taught myself Life and now I Am Ready to Live. When I was a Child, when I began to start Speaking, I told my father, I want to be a Clinical Research and Child Psychologist so that No Child has to grow up Like I Am. And I Will Be because I have been doing the Work all my Life. I finally know what Self-Love Is because I Am Taking Care of Me, First. God’s got My back and that makes it that much more Divine. My Autism at birth was a Gift from God and today, I Feel Proud to honor that Gift by making sure, through the creation of my Autism Foundation, No Child Ever Has To Grow Up Like I Did. Thank you for giving the Strength, through this article, to continue Fighting the Good Fight :o)

  3. Diana Forte says:

    I work with disabled adults and am starting a self advocacy group within our facility. Can you please e-mail me some information for my weekly meetings with our clients. I would appreciate any help you can give to me to share with our clients. Thank you, Diana Forte

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