Learning to Become an Advocate for Your Child

​​​​Learning to become an advocate for our children who are deaf or hard of hearing is one of the most important actions we can take to help them. As I learned more, I became more assertive and learned how to be a better advocate for my child. I learned not to be intimidated by professionals, especially those who had a lot of book knowledge, but knew nothing about my child personally. The way I deal with professionals has changed because now I'm more aware of the learning process and how my child is doing. I realize now that if I want to do things a certain way, I have to say so. If I want to know something, I have to ask. I am my child's advocate and must act as such. I understand things better now. I'm not hesitant to ask questions, I have expectations. I try to work as part of a team. We went from knowing nothing about premature infants and hospital procedures and hearing loss, to the point where now we want to understand everything the doctors and specialists are sharing with us. ​I no longer feel like the ignorant one who is ready to jump at whatever advice the professionals offer. I have learned that there are many opinions, and that many professionals lack a certain understanding that parents have, simply because the child is their own. I have learned to stand up for my opinions and beliefs and the things that I know to be true in my daughter's life, and not let the opinions of professionals undermine me.​