The Learning to Achieve Self Determination for Adults with Learning Disabilities online course asks users to consider one or more ways of developing self-determination that you might be able to incorporate into your work with adults having learning disabilities. Share your ideas and/or strategies for fostering self-determination. 

Comments (6)

Taylor Dych's picture

To incorporate self-determination in our classroom we could:

  • Set up a system that would help our students self-record.
  • Support them in setting goals.
  • Help them determine how they are going to reach their goals
  • Set them up with our Life Coach to keep them on track with their goals. 
  • Encourage them to ask questions.
greneau's picture

The two factors I consider to be most important are Gaining self-awareness and Planning. I chose these two for the following reasons:

If students are not aware that they have a learning disability, they will not be able to set realistic goals and to have reasonable expectations. If individuals have a diagnosis, but do not understand the characteristics of their learning disability, they will be unable to explain the need of accommodations in school and the work place or what accommodations are appropriate. This will seemingly continue a pattern of devaluing self, strengths and unique qualities they bring to the table.

My second choice of importance is Planning. Once an individual is aware of their learning disability and its characteristics, they are better able to help themselves to make reasonable plans for success. In addition, they are able to  better communicate to others the environment in which they work best, are able to break down tasks step-by-step and identify those tasks they may need help with. 

At the beginning of each semester, I have my students write down a short term goal, one that can be accomplished within the semester. One long term goal, which is most likely dependent upon the success of the short term goal and one obstacle they can identify as possibly preventing them from reaching their goals. I then encourage them to plan for how they will overcome the obstacle, whether it is childcare so they can attend class, transportation issues such as bus fare or rides or coming to class on time by setting an alarm or going to bed earlier so that they can wake up on time. We discuss as a class these issues and help each other to understand that we all have challenges to success.

Isabel Justo's picture

Some ideas that come to mind for incorporating Self-Determination are:

-Embracing the idea of a Student Learning Plan. Students would record goals, short and long term, and cyclically monitor their progress.After an assessment or activity, collecting the data, turning it into feedback, and strategizing a plan. During the feedback stage, students would reflect and adjust where necessary.

-I also think that The Growth Mindset philosophy, should be emphasized and taught intentionally.

-Lessons should be a differentiated to tap into student strengths. Instruction should not be a "one size fits all"

Nicole Regis's picture

I think that being very encouraging and patient with the student is one of the key factors in fostering self determination in a student with an LD.

Karen Sakurai's picture

It is important to be patient with the students who have a learning disability so that they are encouraged to keep working towards their goals.  Once they have expressed their specific goals, work with the students on breaking them into even smaller steps to  make them more achievable.  Interviews with the students may be done more often than with the others in the class who may not be experiencing as much difficulty so that they feel that they are progressing towards their goals..

Leonidas Santelises's picture

It is important for students to feel like they can do a certain task I want to create an environment in which they can feel determined and motivated