A parent is their child’s number one advocate. If a parent does not act on behalf of their child, who will? There are multiple areas where parents must act as an advocate for their child.
Advocating At The Doctors
When a parent is sure that a child is falling behind the other children in their play group, the first step is to visit the pediatrician. However, if after consulting the child’s pediatrician they say, “just wait,” a parent does not have to wait. They must listen to their own instincts and advocate for their child’s care.
Advocating At School
A parent whose child needs more services at school must show up and tell the team what she wants, bringing sound research, facts and goals to back up her requests.
Advocating With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may deny a claim based on lack of medical necessity, so a parent must know what their master plan says about coverage. The parent must make sure the child’s therapy team is coding and documenting correctly to demonstrate medical necessity.
9 Tips For Becoming A Successful Advocate
- Listen to your instincts and get help early
- Learn how to read research, and research a child’s symptoms and diagnoses
- Be proactive not reactive
- Fight for proper school placement
- Fight for fair insurance coverage
- Research any grants or aide available outside of insurance coverage
- Find and start support groups online and in the community
- Read the best books on child advocacy
- Put together the ideal therapy team and lead it. Don’t wait for therapists to talk to you, plan quarterly meetings with the team to discuss your child’s progress
Advocacy is certainly a full time job, but it is well worth the effort! Don’t waste time, money or energy. Advocate from the start and it will take your family a very long way. Pay now or pay later.
If you don’t know where to start feel free to contact our Family-Child Advocate who can help you find direction.