“Wait! Wait! Wait!” she cried.

Riley got upset at her cello lesson.

The well meaning teacher reminded her no one does it perfectly. Everyone is learning.

“You don’t need to get so upset over it,” she said, encouragingly.

Riley stopped and said, “I know, but it’s because I have autism.”

There was a beat or two of silence.


They moved forward.

Riley is so high functioning, it is very easy to forget how many things are just a whole lot harder for her than most typical students.  

In the car home I appluaded her for talking about her autism. We discussed how autism isn’t an excuse to stop her from doing whatever she wants to do, but it is a consideration. Some things are more difficult because of it. She processes things differently and that difference needs to be taken into account. It is okay for her to remind teachers. 

I’ve never seen her self-advocate before. 

Call me happy.

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15 Responses to Self-Advocacy

  1. Meg says:

    She was able to do that because you have taught her well, Michelle. The seeds you have planted are growing!

  2. Lydia says:

    That’s so exciting! I hope she finds the balance of when to say something and when not to. Because, gosh, that’s tough.

  3. Go, Riley! Fantastic!

  4. Bonnie says:

    Her self-awareness is wonderful.

  5. Kim says:

    Wow! So cool. I am happy for you!

  6. drama mama says:


  7. Penny says:

    How very wonderful. How confident.

  8. AWESOME! I am so happy for her! and you that is just amazing

  9. Wanda says:

    Grinning along with….

  10. Carrie Link says:

    Call ME happy, and love the distinction between excuse and consideration. YAMH.

  11. kario says:

    Ditto everyone else. Go, Riley! If you can learn to self-advocate now, you’re doing better than most of the adults I know!

  12. Amanda says:

    I’ll call you Ecstatic! I would be!!

  13. jeanie says:

    This is an amazing story. Simply perfect. You had to be thrilled!

    (And thanks for visiting my blog!)

  14. That’s great. I can just imagine her doing it. I love how you teach her and I love that she’s understanding herself.

  15. Yes! All I can say is yes!

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