Advocacy as a Solo Parent


As an LCSW, I have spent a lot of time advocating on behalf of my clients and their families. When I worked in foster care, I felt compelled to honor the wishes of the kiddos I supported. It’s a field where they have little say-so, and I think that I was able to give them a voice.

Little did I know my experiences in my career would provide me with much of the knowledge needed to advocate for my own children.

Recently, my youngest daughter and I have been on a quest to identify if her hyper/hypotonia is a developmental issue, something she will outgrow, or something more is happening.

She’s the sweetest, happiest, and most mellow baby. I want to be sure she has all the support necessary for a fulfilling childhood. When she was around two months old, I noticed that her movements were very rigid, more so than the typical “newborn reflexes” would account for. By four months, I had referred her to Birth to Three (she didn’t qualify), and now, at six months old, we are still looking for answers or reassurance.

She is in PT once a week with a provider I pay for out of pocket. The support we received at a local group practice (insurance-based) was great but wasn’t consistent, which was frustrating. She’s had an EEG, which thankfully came back normal, and we’ve met with neurology.

I don’t know what the future will hold, although I am hopeful it will include a totally benign cause for my daughter’s current experiences. In any case, I will continue to advocate and demand that my voice (and my daughter’s) be heard.

As a solo parent, feeling validated or understood is especially tough. No one else can say, “I saw it too,” or “I feel the same way.” Trusting your instincts and following your intuition becomes the best practice.

Have any of you been through a similar process as a solo parent? If you’re comfortable sharing about your child’s experience and the outcome, I (and this community of mamas) would greatly appreciate it!


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