Self-Advocacy for Students with Learning Disabilities
There may be times when you’ll need extra assistance or special adaptations in high school, college, or at a job. When you were young, your parents or care-giver likely worked with teachers and other school personnel to develop a plan for your success. However, as an adult you will have learn to be your own advocate. It is important, therefore, to learn self-advocacy early on. Let’s get started!
The following are steps you can take to help get ready for the transition into adulthood:
1) Get to know your LD.
Learn about your diagnosis. Ask yourself: How does my LD impact my learning? Are there specific things my teacher or parents have done that work best for me (did visual cues or having a note taker or even taping classes help with my learning)? Understanding your own LD and what accommodations have worked for you in the past will help you in college and in the workplace and will ultimately help you be successful.
2) Think about your (big and small) goals for the future.
What do you want to accomplish in your life? Do you want to go to college or are you planning to go directly to work? Do you know what career you would like to pursue? Write down your goals, and make sure to break it down into the smaller steps that will help you reach your bigger goals.
3) If you are having problems, meet with your teachers.
Becoming an advocate for yourself means you will need take initiative to solve problems. If you find yourself having problems keeping up or your grades are slipping, ask your teacher to meet with you after class to discuss your concerns and help you find solutions.
4) Get to know your strengths and weaknesses.
Understanding your strengths will help you work on your goals and may even help in determining your career choice. The point of understanding your weaknesses is not to highlight all of your faults (and we all have them), but is instead meant to understand which areas of your life need more attention or where you may need more assistance.