By Kodey Toney
My Own Worst Enemy
I was fortunate to attend a conference in New Orleans this week for work. During this conference I heard a speaker who, while talking about politics said, "Remember there are no permanent friends, and no permanent enemies." As I heard that I thought, "This could be said for parents of children with autism."
There are many times where this could come into play. First, let's understand this concept as it pertains to your child. YOU are your child's best advocate. Nobody can get the best services and programs for your child but you. We all no that this can be difficult, but you have to be versatile to get what you need.
There are many old sayings that pertain to this, but one that I use most of the time is; You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Our children require many different services. Without them they will probably not excel socially, physically, and academically. So, it stands to reason we need to work hard to get these. This means that we may need to suck it up and be nice; even if it hurts.
I worked for several years in Financial Aid at the college. One thing I learned is that it is a very stressful job. You work very hard for little pay, and you are responsible for many people's money and future. With that responsibility comes the stress. Therefor you are seen as the enemy, the problem, and ultimately the blame.
This could be said for people at several of the places we have to deal with. The insurance companies, DHS, therapists, and school officials all can be seen in this capacity, but we need to remember, they can and will help you.
Be nice to them and you will get farther, I promise. They are not the enemy. You are your own worst enemy. The worst thing you could ever do is burn a bridge. You will never get the services you need if you do, or at least it will be harder to get.
On the flip side of this, if you're not getting what you want, but they are being nice, you may need to be a little more firm. Some people can see this as a weakness. Make sure they know that you are kind, but you mean business. Your main focus is your child's future. Don't forget that.