Where to Begin in Advocating for Your Child

It is important to keep in mind that advocacy is a process, not an event. Don’t expect changes overnight. Changes can come, but they will take time. By learning about a variety of ways to advocate for your child, and how to put this knowledge into action, you can increase the likelihood that teachers and administrators will be able to join with you in this process.

Basic Rules for Advocacy and Characteristics of Successful Advocates

When asking for information and making suggestions for change, always respect and follow the “Chain of Command.”

  • *If dealing with your child’s specific needs, start with his teacher.  Eventually meeting your child’s needs may involve the school counselor (if applicable). It also may be appropriate to work with the building principal.  However, start with a meeting with your child’s teacher.
  • *If dealing with general High Ability program issues, start with HA coordinator.
  • *Broad Based Planning Committee (BBPC)
  • *Superintendent
  • *School Board
  • *Indiana Department of Education (IDOE)
  • *Indiana General Assembly
  • *Hire a consultant if you need assistance
  • Become knowledgeable about what is required of schools in Indiana and how High Ability education is funded.   The IAG Advocacy Handbook is a guide to Indiana Code and Rules relative to high ability students. It also provides advocacy guidance for policy change and/or increased funding and is available on the IAG website by clicking here Additionally, knowing where IAG stands on certain positions can help you in your advocacy efforts. Click here to view our position statements.

  • If you plan to meet with your state legislator, check out our instructional video with tips on how to conduct your meeting.

    More information about advocating for an individual child is found in the following article downloaded from the National Association for Gifted Children website, nagc.org.  This article was published in 2016 and authored by Joan Franklin Smutny, Stephanie Georgiades, and Kathleen Nilles. Additional resources about parent advocacy can be found at the NAGC website  http://www.nagc.org/get-involved/advocate-high-ability-learners/advocating-gifted-programs-your-local-schools