How can we take action to get the most for our child or to help someone who has a child with autism?
We must make sure our children have health care coverage. Whether it is from a job, a private policy or a government sponsored program. Fortunately most Black children have coverage but their parents are not taking advantage of it.
We must take our children to the doctor regularly and see the same physician if possible. Patients who see the same doctor regularly have an opportunity to build a good relationship with them, therefore receiving higher quality care. This could help counteract any of the perceived stereotypes doctors may have of Africa American children.
Although it’s the doctors who usually see the first signs of autism, it’s the school districts who provide treatment for those who cannot afford private treatment. Since health insurance does not cover most autism related services most Black children are served by their local public school district.
It is suggested that parents get as involved as possible with their children’s education and that goes especially for those receiving special services.
Parents must know their rights and be familiar with the laws. African American parents need to attend all meetings regarding the education, progress, and changes in services for their children. There is always a way to accomplish this. Do not be afraid to reschedule or debate. Also meeting can be conducted over the phone if necessary.
Involvement is absolutely necessary regardless of the location or reputation of the school district. A parents failure to attend meetings give educators the impression they don’t care. In many cases the system will take that same attitude. But if you get to know the teachers, administrator, and specialist well, they will be aware of your expectations and usually will do their best to make sure you are satisfied. This works with general education students as well
It is OK to second guess a families opinion if you suspect your child may be developmentally delayed. If there is something that needs attention its always better and more effective to intervene sooner than later.
As mentioned above it is imperative we stay involved with our children’s education on every level. This poses a challenge for those single parent and two working parent families. However as mentioned above there are ways to make time and/or adjustments to communicating with the district. Phone calls, emails, notes, and even having a designated family member or friend attend meetings can work.