This week’s Carrot Ranch Prompt is about having another’s back. The post about struggles getting a PTSD diagnosis reminded me of struggles to get other diagnoses, especially for children. It takes a strong advocate, sometimes, to get the right services.
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I wrote about advocacy in the school setting. My public information statement that goes with it is that you can often find help with school advocacy through your local P&A (Protection & Advocacy) office — every state has at least one. I am going through training this weekend to become a volunteer advocate.
August 12, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a character who is called to have the back of another. What circumstances led up to this moment? What are the character motives? Think about the interaction, the setting, the tone. What does it look like to have another’s back?
Mrs. Smith felt less alone when she walked into the room with her advocate behind her, but she still instinctively cowered when she saw the table with ten people around it. Ten people unwilling to expend resources on her child. Ten people who saw his naughty behavior as willful disobedience rather than inability to comply.
The teachers’ names flew past before she could take them in.
“I’m sorry, can we repeat those introductions, slower, so I can write down everybody’s names?” said the advocate.
Mrs. Smith’s shoulders relaxed. Finally, at this meeting, somebody had her back—and her son’s.
And with school coming up, I also wrote an article about my hopes for this school year. You can read it on ADDitude magazine.