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Welcome to the Diagnosis: A Parent's Guide to Advocacy

When parents learn that their child has dyslexia, ADHD, ASD or another neurodiversity, it's often a time of bewilderment, frustration, and the overwhelming task of understanding how to support their educational journey. In most cases, parents will reach out and rely on a school for guidance and assistance – only to discover that, despite their best intentions, school leadership, teachers and administrators don’t necessarily possess the knowledge, specialist training or resources to support the student.

Additionally, education systems can often be slow-moving, layered brick walls of bureaucracy. When schools are either reluctant to help or deny support and services, parents find themselves in uncomfortable, adversarial positions.

Embrace Your New Role as Advocate!

Adopting a “wait and see” approach can be damaging, placing a child further at risk. Parents who embrace their advocacy role tend to adopt a forthright, proactive, problem-solving mindset, exploring a vast array of in-school and external support options.

Get ready to research and educate yourself relentlessly to make informed decisions! Spend time researching sites like the International Dyslexia Association to understand the diagnosis' implications on:

  • your child’s day-to-day life within a classroom setting

  • how their brain processes and retains new information

  • evidence-based therapies and interventions

  • inclusive activities

  • workings of the Victorian educational system.

Find the Right Supports

Based on your research, determine what will work best for your child. Find the right therapies and interventions. It’s also okay to disagree and get a second opinion! You know your child better than anyone else, so if an intervention seems ineffective, it probably is!

Build Your Community

Just as children don’t outgrow their neurodiversity and must learn to navigate life with it, so will parents as their advocates. The most comforting fact is you don’t have to do it alone! Engage with local, state and national Facebook and Instagram forums, and join forces with parents who have already walked in your shoes!

Exchange insights on:

  • Individual Learning Plans and how to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely-Specific) goals.

  • How and when is progress being monitored, and via what testing?

  • How to prepare for a PSG/SSG meeting.

  • What support person is best equipped to support you in these meetings?

  • How to record and log data from these meetings and other ongoing assessments.

  • What paper trail do you need for senior accommodations and VCAA for VCE?

Be the Manager

Although nothing will replace the importance of the direct, multi-sensory, structured language, evidence-based intervention, your role in “BEING THAT PARENT” is the single most critical accompaniment to what we do at DyslexAbility. You are the manager of your child’s team. Hold all players accountable. Are they performing to your expectations? Band them together with strength and persistence to effect change for your child!

Contact us at (03) 5996 6006, or to see how DyslexAbility can best support you and your family.


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