Patient & Family Advocate | Autism F.I.R.S.T. | Therapy & Service

Your advocate is your champion working tirelessly on behalf of your child and your family.

Whether you are working through a new autism diagnosis or you’ve been in the trenches for many years, having a child with autism can be overwhelming to say the least. There are so many complex systems, resources and paths to navigate that many parents have no idea where to begin or even what questions to ask. It is exceedingly common for autism families to feel overloaded, emotional and alone.

Enter an Autism F.I.R.S.T. advocate!

“As a parent of two children with special needs, I understand the confusion you face and have a deep passion to help anyone who is as overwhelmed as I once was.”
— Casandra, Vice President of Advocacy, Autism F.I.R.S.T.

Casandra Oldham - Autism F.I.R.S.T.

An advocate is your guide – someone to empower you and educate you, but not make decisions for you.
An advocate is your voice – someone to speak out loud and clear when your words don’t seem to be enough.
An advocate is your bulldog – someone who knows your rights and fights for them.
An advocate is your anchor – someone to give you stability, strength and compassion.

Your Autism F.I.R.S.T. advocate will support your child and your child’s entire support system by:

  • Listening to your goals and concerns in order to problem-solve WITH you.
  • Reviewing all reports and evaluations explaining everything in detail.
  • Recommending any additional evaluations based on the needs of your child.
  • Coordinating all the various therapists and doctors your child may need.
  • Helping you navigate insurance issues including determining if your child qualifies for a Medicaid waiver and how to obtain it.
  • Working with you on public school system processes such as:
    • Writing an accurate Present Level of Performance (PLOP) for an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
    • Drafting measurable goals for an IEP.
    • Attending IEP meetings, where there may be as many as 20+ participants, to make sure your child’s voice is heard.
    • Attending mediation and due process hearings.
  • Educating you on how to better meet your child’s needs and empower you to advocate for your child yourself.
  • Helping you find and connect to appropriate services, legal support, clinical evaluations and support groups.
  • Recommending summer camps and respite centers.

Think of your advocate as your family’s team coach with you as the team captain and your child as your star player! Connecting with a strong advocate could be the path to success for your child, not to mention help keep you, the caregiver, sane.

Call us today to learn more about how an advocate can help change the trajectory for your child and your family.