One way we do this is by providing you with helpful hints and handy tips to make the learning process a positive one. Read the important information below and embark on a journey of self-discovery, self-understanding and self-acceptance.
Before you can advocate for yourself, you have to admit to yourself that you really do have a learning disability. You have probably worked very hard to hide your learning problems (even from yourself). Now is the time to admit that you have some difficulties and may need some special help in order to be successful.
You cannot be a successful self-advocate if you continue to hide your difficulties from others. Naturally, you can't expect teachers to provide appropriate accommodations if they don't know about your disability. But it is just as important to be able to admit your difficulties to your friends. When you can really be honest about your learning disability, you will find that you no longer feel so ashamed and embarrassed about your learning difficulties. You will be able to relax a bit more in school and spend more energy learning rather than hiding.
Hopefully, you have a pretty good understanding of how your brain works and how your learning disability interferes with your education. If you don't understand how you learn, you can't ask for accommodations that you really need. What is your strongest intelligence? If you are unsure of your learning style, ask the special education teacher to work with you to help you understand how you learn best.
Do the accommodations listed on your individual education plan meet all of your learning needs? Which ones do you think will be the most useful for you? Can you think of other accommodations that may be better? Work with your teachers/parents to assist in developing your individual education plan to best meet your needs.
Right from the start of each class you should be thinking about how you might be able to learn the material better. Maybe the teacher has a style that confuses you. Maybe there are too many distractions in the room. Maybe assignments aren't presented clearly. Begin talking with your teachers about accommodations as early as possible.
You have a right to an appropriate education and appropriate accommodations to meet your needs. Are you prepared to discuss your rights with a teacher that may be "reluctant" to provide appropriate accommodations? Do you know where to turn for support when your needs are not being met? Don't take advantage of your right to accommodations by requesting things you don't really need.
Sometimes even an effective self-advocate needs support. Find someone who understands your learning disability and can provide support (or can even advocate for you) when needed. Some examples may be your classroom teacher, the resource teacher, the principal, your parents, or a family friend. ______________________________________________________________
Some of the following resource documents are in the form of a Microsoft Office Power Point Presentation, while others are in Adobe PDF format.