Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Adolescents & Advocacy: Professionals Play Important Roles

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Adolescents & Advocacy: Professionals Play Important Roles

Article excerpt

When the Great Lakes Regional Chapter of The Society for Adolescent Medicine (SAM) planned their fall meeting, they decided they should visit the issue of advocacy. "Physicians and nurses, social workers and nutritionists, teachers and other providers can improve the conditions for adolescents with disabilities - indeed for all adolescents," says Nancy Okinow, President of the Great Lakes Regional Chapter of SAM.

Physicians can play a critical role in their communities. Steve Matson, M.D., from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, comes with a mission. So few physicians and providers are interested in the care of adolescents that there really are wonderful opportunities to increase services for this group of young people in the community. He provides some strategies for those who wish to provide adolescent health services:

* Know the area in which you work;

* Determine the needs of the young people;

* Get to know the important people in your community;

* Persuade the movers and shakers that your idea is critical to the life of youth in your area;

* Work with the media (give talks, agree to be on the local radio show); and

* Make certain the people on your team are dreamers. …

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