The Effects of a School-Based Program on the Reported Self-Advocacy Knowledge of Students With Learning Disabilities

  • Faye Mishna University of Toronto
  • Barbara Muskat Hospital for Sick Children
  • Fataneh Farnia OISE/University of Toronto
  • Judith Wiener OISE/University of Toronto
Keywords: Self-advocacy knowledge, students with learning disabilities, school-based intervention

Abstract

A school-based study examined self-reported self-advocacy knowledge of middle school students with learning disabilities (LD). Children with LD are vulnerable to experiencing psychosocial and academic problems. Self-advocacy is a protective factor as students with LD enter middle and high school, comprising knowledge of one’s learning strengths and LD; awareness of one’s rights and responsibilities; awareness of accommodations needed; and ability to communicate one’s learning needs and required accommodations. The students reported increasing their ability to advocate for themselves. Results underscore the importance of adults such as teachers and parents discussing LD and associated issues with children and youth.

Une étude en milieu scolaire a examiné les perceptions qu’avaient des élèves à l’école intermédiaire ayant des troubles d’apprentissage par rapport à leur autonomie sociale. Ces élèves sont à risque de souffrir de problèmes psychosociaux et académiques. L’autonomie sociale constitue un facteur de protection quand les élèves ayant des troubles d’apprentissage commencent l’école intermédiaire ou secondaire. Elle implique la connaissance de ses forces académiques et de ses troubles d’apprentissage; la conscience de ses droits et ses responsabilités; la conscience des accommodations nécessaires; et la capacité de faire connaître ses besoins en matière d’apprentissage et d’accommodations. Les élèves ont indiqué qu’ils se sentaient mieux en mesure de se défendre. Les résultats soulignent l’importance pour les adultes comme les enseignants et les parents de discuter de troubles d’apprentissage et d’enjeux qui s’y rattachent avec les enfants et les jeunes.

Author Biographies

Faye Mishna, University of Toronto
Faye Mishna is a professor and Dean in the Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work in the University of Toronto and is cross-appointed to the Department of Psychiatry. She holds the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Chair in Child and Family. Her program of research is focused on bullying; cyber abuse/cyber bullying and cyber counseling; and school-based interventions for students with learning disabilities. An integral component of her research entails collaboration with community agencies and organizations. Her scholarly publications have focused on bullying, social work education, and clinical practice.
Barbara Muskat, Hospital for Sick Children
Barbara Muskat is an academic and clinical specialist in the Department of Social Work in the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She is also an adjunct assistant professor of social work in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work in the University of Toronto, specializing in group work and clinical work with children and families coping with exceptionalities.
Fataneh Farnia, OISE/University of Toronto
Fataneh Farnia is a research fellow in the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre/Institute, Department of Psychiatry, and OISE, University of Toronto. Her research on the overlap of language and socio-emotional problems and on the early identification of first and second language and literacy difficulties to prevent school failure has implications for practitioners, researchers, and policymakers.
Judith Wiener, OISE/University of Toronto
Judith Wiener is a professor of school and clinical child psychology in the Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/ University of Toronto. She has done extensive research on peer relations of children with learning disabilities and affective and social outcomes of special education and inclusion programs. This research culminated in a classroom-based social skills training program for these children. Her current research is on the perceptions of children and adolescents with ADHD of their behavior and their social milieu. Her recent publications, in the Journal of School Psychology, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, and Psychology in the Schools are based on this research.
Section
ARTICLES