Cut The Cord

Yes, it is a parent’s job to protect their child. But no matter a person’s age or ability level, doing all the talking for them is probably not in their best interest long-term.

The best way to become a self-advocate, Ne’eman says, is slowly over the course of childhood. Ideally, by the time a person enters high school and transition planning begins, they’re capable of expressing their own desires. After all, many decisions are made in high school that will impact the rest of a person’s life.

“A lot of times parents don’t realize that what they’re doing — which was very important and necessary at one time in their life — needs to transition to something different and help support their child to speak for themselves,” Ne’eman says. “There’s a very big difference between the kind of assistance that fosters dependence and the kind of assistance that empowers independence.”

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