Supportive Parenting

The journey from wondering if something is developmentally different with your child to becoming an informed advocate may feel daunting. Fortunately, Jan Starr Campito has written the exceptional book Supportive Parenting: Becoming an Advocate for Your Child with Special Needs. This book belongs in every pediatrician’s office.

Supportive ParentingSupportive Parenting outlines the steps, both practical and emotional, that parents take when trying to sort out how to request an evaluation. Ms. Campito highlights how to access Early Intervention, how to talk to your pediatrician, and when to push for more details. She provides examples from her own journey with her sons regarding successes, frustrations, things she nailed, and what she might wish she had handled differently.

Ms. Campito encourages parents to take a look at their own emotions, motivations, and behaviors. She is clear that if you have a child with special needs, you must become your child’s staunchest advocate, and you may not feel equipped to do so, initially. By the time you finish the book, you will feed educated, inspired, and ready to advocate.

This book is particularly relevant for families just starting the journey. It can be challenging to find a book that adequate addresses the early stages of the journey (the questioning, the dawning awareness, what it feels like to make appointments you wish you didn’t need – coupled with the practical advice of what to expect, how to behave, and how to manage your reactions to possibly unwelcome news). If you benefit from an in depth look at what your family might be about to experience, this is the book for you. (Also, if you are a professional who conducts evaluations, this book is a reminder of the need to be gentle, professional, and jargon free.) Further, if you need guidance regarding how to navigate school based services, the second half of the book is for you. (My clients: skim the first part so you feel bonded with the author, then

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