Assertiveness is...

Assertiveness is...

  1. Expressing your needs clearly and directly.
  2. Expressing your ideas without feeling guilty or intimidated.
  3. Sticking up for what you believe your child needs-even though professionals may not agree.
  4. Knowing your rights and how to get them.
  5. Documenting what your child needs and all facts pertaining to his/her case.
  6. Collaborating with service providers and treating them like partners.
  7. Effective communication.
  8. Conveying your feelings of self-confidence when you communicate with others.
  9. Advocating effectively on your own behalf.
  10. Self-reliance and independence.
  11. Persisting until you get all the services your child needs.
  12. Analyzing a problem and pinpointing the area of responsibility before you act.
  13. Agitating to get necessary legislation passed and implemented.
  14. Organizing for change.
  15. Having a positive attitude at all times.
  16. Being strong when others are weak.
  17. Joining others who are organizing for change.
  18. Taking pride in your accomplishments.
  19. Encouraging your child to have dreams and develop the skills to make those dreams come true.


Assertiveness is not . . .

  1. Beating around the bush before stating your needs.
  2. Feeling too guilty or afraid to express your needs.
  3. Agreeing with professionals-no matter how you feel-because they know what is best.
  4. Ignorance about your rights.
  5. Leaving everything to others because they know how to do these things.
  6. Accepting inappropriate or inadequate services for your child because it’s easier to let professionals handle things.
  7. Ineffective communication.
  8. Begging for what is legitimately yours by law.
  9. Abdicating to others your right to advocate on behalf of your own child.
  10. Reliance and dependence on others.
  11. Giving up when you run into red tape.
  12. Acting precipitously before you get all the facts.
  13. Letting politicians take care of laws and all that political stuff.
  14. Accepting the status quo because nothing can be done.
  15. Giving in to defeat.
  16. Being swayed by others who have a ‘no win’ attitude.
  17. Acting ‘only’ on behalf of your own child.
  18. Being uncomfortable about your accomplishments.
  19. Discouraging your child from having dreams.

From How to get Services by Being Assertive  by Charlotte Des Jardins.  Published by Family Resource Center on Disabilities.

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