Self Advocacy in Three Parts: 1 - Know Thy Self
Self-Advocacy in Three Parts
Part One – Know Thyself
What does self-advocacy mean to you as an adult with dyslexia/LD? Self-advocacy can be defined as the ability to represent and speak up for yourself, to be actively involved as a voice in decision making in matters involving you. In an article on Wrightslaw.com, author Nancy Susanne James states “This journey of self-education is an ongoing process, as individual needs change over time. There are three parts to becoming an effective self-advocate: knowing yourself, knowing your needs, and knowing how to get what you need.”
The slogan used by various disability rights activists, “Nothing about us without Us” points to the need for the individual to be at the center of all discussions involving himself and his life. Getting in touch with and knowing yourself is the first part of becoming an effective adult self-advocate.
Knowing yourself involves know your strengths and weaknesses. It involves identification. There are many informal inventories and checklists which can help you to uncover your particular pattern of strengths and weaknesses such as Headstrong Nation’s Potential Indicators of Dyslexia and our Strength and Attitude Assessments. Inventories like these can give you some valuable information to share with a professional licensed to formally evaluate dyslexia and other related learning disabilities, and may serve as a starting point for conversation. Below are the sample results of a Strength Assessment showing high social and visual skills.
A formal psycho-educational evaluation performed by a licensed Neuropsychologist or other professional trained in working with adults with dyslexia/LD can be quite costly, so it will be helpful to inquire if any of the cost might be covered by your insurance carrier if you are determined to pursue formal identification for yourself. Other avenues to explore qualified professionals include local university departments of psychology or clinics, community mental health centers, and local rehabilitation services agencies (State Agencies - https://rsa.ed.gov/people.cfm - Then click on "Other Useful Contacts > State Agencies/Contact Information ). It is important to remember that obtaining a formal diagnosis of a learning disability permits you to certain rights under federal law in higher education and in the workplace.
In Self-Advocacy in Three Parts: Part Two, Know Your Needs, I'll discuss knowing your needs and how this information can enable you to become a more effective self-advocate in life, school, and career.
Read Nancy Susanne James’ article Self-Advocacy: Know Yourself, Know What You Need, Know How to Get It HERE.
Self Advocacy: Know yourself, Know What You Need, Know How to Get It. Nancy Suzanne James (Wrightslaw) http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/sec504.selfadvo.nancy.james.htm
Rehabilitation Services Adminstration - ED/OSERS/RSA - https://rsa.ed.gov/people.cfm
Self-Advocacy in Three Parts: Part Two - Know Your Needs - http://headstrongnation.org/community/blog/self-advocacy-three-parts-2-k...
Self-Advocacy in Three Parts: Part Three - Getting What You Need - http://headstrongnation.org/community/blog/self-advocacy-three-steps-3-g...
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