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I first connected with the Utah Parent Center when my son Ethan was born with Down syndrome in 1992. I was given their information in the hospital. The Parent Center really became a life line for me. I love the people at the Parent Center. They have always been kind and passionate about the work they do. They are a great resource. I have been to many Family Links conferences and workshops over the years…
As a parent, it is sometimes a challenge to know how to help your child be their own self advocate. One blessing I have had in my life is to be able to interact with the Utah Parent Center. One of the greatest things I have learned through trainings and from staff is how to help my child learn to be his own self-advocate. Christopher is only 12, but I know that by teaching him skills now, I am preparing him for his future. It is scary to let your child deal with an issue more independently, but I believe it is worth it. With the tips I learned at the Center, my son has been able to successfully advocate for himself.
Watch Christopher’s video on self-advocacy here
When my son Jacob was about three, I wanted to know how to help him in any way that was possible. I was given the name of the Utah Parent Center (UPC) and decided to contact them. As I took classes from the UPC on communication and how to advocate at the schools, I began to realize how important it was for parents to advocate. As a family if we didn’t do it, no one would. I soon realized that people will listen to me as a parent, but really they wanted and needed to hear from the children. Jacob is learning that he has the power to speak for what he believes in. I am grateful the Utah Parent Center gave me the tools so many years ago, to teach my son to advocate for his needs.
Watch Jacob’s video on self-advocacy here
My son Adam is 14 years old. He lives with multiple disabilities and is medically fragile. Before Adam started school, I did not think it would be more complicated than regular education, but was I wrong! Understanding all I needed to know about special education, was unnerving! Through elementary and middle school I requested assistance from our District’s Parent Consultant, who is highly trained by the UPC in special education process and other services. Although I have an understanding of the process, I needed someone to help me go over what we were doing and how we could improve my son’s goals, work with teachers to ensure inclusion for my son, and address my concerns to the team so that my voice would be truly heard. I am so thankful for these services that are so very important to parents like me. Keep up the great work UPC!
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