A friend just posted this article from a Facebook page.
I liked it so much, I'm re-posting the whole thing here because I couldn't figure out how to link to this specific post, but it is from here: the Autism Discussion Page on FB (August 12).
"Don’t take a back seat to anyone!"
"If you are a parent on the journey of advocating for your child, you
must stay in the driver seat for the entire ride. Your child should be
in the front seat, right along with you, to stay connected, read the
road maps together, and navigate the crossroads."
"Along the way you will
pick up passengers, but they should not drive from the back seat. You
may pick up teachers, professionals,
advocates, friends and relatives to join you on the journey. Some will
come and go, and a few may stay for the full ride. These people can be
valuable, if supportive. They should add strength and clarity to the
journey, help you navigate during the fog and rain, and help you shovel
out during the snow storms. "
first priority is who you take on the ride with you! If the people
you pick up on the way do not support you, and hinder your progress,
drop them off. Let them walk! If they don’t make you stronger, they
need to leave."
"Heavy baggage will only make the journey harder. They
will try and take over the wheel, and steer you off the road. They may
take the wrong way, and refuse to turn around when common sense points
that you are getting lost. When you see this happening, pull over, let
them out, and politely say “goodbye!”
"Save the space for an advocate
that will be a working partner with you, rather than a thorn against
you. Through this ride, you want the topics of conversations to be
“positive”, strength based, not complaining , whining, and bickering.
No fighting, just collaborating, seeing the positive, and relishing the
"For those who listen to you and your child, value your
vision, and add to your journey, keep them on board. Most will not be
able to stay forever, but their influence will provide valuable guidance
throughout the journey."
"They have knowledge and experience that can be
valuable for you and your child, but only you can be the driver of this
ride. Only you understand, accept, and are totally committed to your
child. You know the vulnerabilities, challenges, goals and dreams for
you and your child, but they can help provide the framework for making
it happen. Keep them on board as long as you can, and replace them
with care. Treat them with respect, appreciate and value their
"We want people who may agree or disagree respectfully, but
allow you to make the decisions. If you start to steer off course, you
need honest companions to guide you back. You navigate together, share
the experiences, and enjoy the triumphs. They help you navigate, but
you continue to drive. When worn out and tired, pull of the side of the
road and rest a while. Do not let them drive! When overwhelmed stop
off at a rest area, take a breather, go for a short walk, regroup and
collaborate. Talk it over, get on the same page, than move back on
"As you start this journey you will feel
overwhelmed, scared, and confused. You will know very little, but you
do know your child. You will need these riders to help you navigate.
However, with or without their support you will become more
knowledgeable and stronger as the journey moves on. You will gain
experience, read the road maps, listen to the opinions, ask for
directions, and navigate the road blocks. When no one in the car has an
answer, call an experienced friend; one who has taken this trip
already. A friend who has lived this journey, followed this road many
times, made the mistakes and has more of the answers."
the driver seat, with your child right with you. The two of you
navigating together, sharing the experiences, learning together, growing
together, and getting stronger together."
"You want your child to learn
“by driving with you”; learning by listening and observing, following
your lead, and collaborating with you. Your child must learn how to
read the maps, understand the signs, and navigate the cross roads. As
he gets older he will need to take over the steering wheel, a little at a
time, as his competence and confidence rise. You will both be in the
front seat together, but this time with you in the passenger seat, and
your child in the driving. You will still navigate together, share the
experiences, and collaborate as usual. You will continue to grow
together and become stronger together."
"You can look back at your
riders, smile and share the enjoyment of the accomplishments, and most
importantly thank them for their support. Without them this ride would
have been a lot bumpier, and the costs much higher. You will look back
and see all the wrong turns and misfortunes, but enjoy the fact that
you made it through the journey! Everyone is stronger, happier, and
looking more forward to the future."
importantly, realize it is a long journey, not a race. Take it slow,
navigate with purpose, and take frequent breaks to clear you head,
collaborate, and stay on course. As you are driving, take frequent
opportunities to look over at your child and enjoy the ride. Smile,
give fives, thumbs up and knuckles, and focus on the positives. You
will find the ride much more enjoyable."