young man in front of ship

Self Advocacy

Speaking up for ourselves can be hard! How do we find the balance between being assertive about our needs and being overbearing? And how much harder is this for children and young people with communication impairments and learning difficulties?

We work with children, young people to help them express themselves and to help others understand their ways of communicating. We help families focus on the ways their son or daughter is communicating, and what they are 'saying' in order to develop the appropriate support. We recognise that there is a natural spectrum in terms of making choices and decisions, which we all move through as we grow up. This spectrum includes:

  1. showing our preferences (intentionally or unintentionally)
  2. making choices
  3. making decisions
We show families and others how they can build a life shaped by the preferences of a child even if that child does not have a formal system of communication. This allows all children to take the lead in the way their life is shaped up by others. It also allows teachers, service providers and commissioners to shape the development of their service on the expressed wishes of the children they serve.

Page updated:

Page last published by pippa
05/08/2011