Day #247 – School Battles

Back to winning battles…see Day #242 – Winning Primary Battles

Richard Carlson was right – most of it is small stuff.  BUT – it’s very important small stuff.  Every battle won should be celebrated…

Part of winning battles is gaining the courage to fight them in the first place.  That’s tough – until you do it once, then twice, then three times…battle by battle you learn the language to use. You learn the angles to pursue.  You learn the shortcuts.  You learn who to ask.

It’s sort of like the advice I give students when they are pursuing a partner.  They ask, ‘Should I ask them out?  Should I tell them?”

I say, “Well…how much time have you already wasted thinking about it?  That’s time you could have spent with the person or moved on to meeting others.  What’s the worst thing that will happen?  That person will say no?  Okay.  Well, then you know…then you can move on.”

Others have asked me how I’ve been so successful in advocating for Tucker.  I don’t have an answer.  I guess I don’t know how else to be – but I’ve done some thinking about that question.  I think the bottom line is that I’m

  1. not afraid to ask
  2. not afraid of being told no
  3. not afraid of asking again
  4. my husband would add that I’m not afraid of putting on my red shoes, red glasses, using big words, and simply using ‘smart girl intimidation.’


Afraid to talk to a teacher about taking down some posters to limit the visual intake?
Best Case Scenario:  They say yes and your child has less input
Worst Case Scenario:  They say no and you teach your child ways to cope.

Afraid to talk to a teacher about offering a snack?
Best Case Scenario:  They say no problem.
Worst Case Scenario:  Give your child a granola bar in their pocket.  Tell them to go to the restroom at a specific time and eat it there.

Afraid to talk to a coach about ‘how’ to coach your child?
Best Case Scenario:  They thank you for your help and input and your child has a great time.
Worst Case Scenario:  You go to each practice to observe and coach your child on the way home.  (BTW-the coach will most likely get tired of you watching and will eventually take your advice)

My experience?  My experience has usually been positive. I feel blessed that I have won so many battles.  These battles have mostly been won by Day #171 – Catching Flies.  Here is my process….

  1. Explain the request.
  2. Explain why you have the request.
  3. Explain how the request will benefit the child.
  4. Explain how the request will benefit the person you are asking (he won’t be ornery if he’s hurry).
  5. Give them time to think, don’t ever expect an answer right away.  Especially teachers – remember that they are balancing the needs of 20+ other children.
  6. Let them know that you are willing to help in any way possible (offer to stay for practice).
  7. Thank you for their response – whether it’s a ‘win’ or not.

As an example…

  1. Please email or notify me whenever Tucker has late work.
  2. He can’t always keep track of what he needs to have done.
  3. This will help him stay on  top of whatever you are currently teaching.
  4. I will help him complete the work – I just need the notification.
  5. If this is possible,
  6. let me know how this would work best for you.
  7. Thank you so much for being a part of Tucker’s team.

Now I get emails from teachers whenever he has late work…and within a couple of days.

I know, you are going to get some folks who say no.  But – what if people begin to say yes?  What if your calm, educated advocating actually does begin to make a difference?  It won’t just be for your child – but for all of us.

That is a battle won.

Not the war…but a single battle is a good place to begin.

4 thoughts on “Day #247 – School Battles

  1. Pingback: Day #249 – Losing Battles | 366 Days of Autism

  2. Pingback: Day #327 – Indexing | 366 Days of Autism

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