The Benefits and Best Practices of Academic Coaching for Students with Disabilities
Academic coaching for students with disabilities can be a powerful tool to help them develop better study habits, organisation skills, and relationships, as well as navigating academic challenges. It can come in the form of individualised support and guidance from an Education Support Worker tailored to the student’s specific needs. This empowers individuals to achieve their full potential in education and become equipped with essential coping strategies for life. The benefits and best practices of academic coaching for students with disabilities outlined below gives an insight into just how important it is for academic growth.
One of the primary benefits of academic coaching for students with disabilities is the provision of personalised support tailored to their specific needs. Education Support Workers work closely with students to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. They then develop customised strategies and approaches to help students overcome challenges and to maximise their academic potential. This personalised support ensures that students receive the correct attention and guidance necessary to succeed.
Assessments and evaluations to understand the unique needs of each student with disabilities may be needed as well as collaboration with other professionals, such as special educators or therapists, in order to gather comprehensive information. The support worker can then use this information to create an individualised coaching plan that addresses the specific challenges and goals of the student.
Coaching not only focuses on academic content but also on developing essential skills and fostering self-advocacy. Support workers help students enhance their study, time management and organisation skills. By equipping students with these skills, it empowers them to take control of their learning process and advocate for their needs effectively. This cultivates independence and resilience, enabling students to overcome obstacles and succeed academically.
Skill-building activities should be incorporated into their coaching sessions. Support workers should encourage students to reflect on their progress, set realistic goals, and practice self-advocacy by teaching them how to communicate their needs to teachers and support staff.
Many students face unique challenges, including self-doubt, anxiety, or frustration due to their learning differences. Academic coaching for students with disabilities extends beyond academic aspects and encompasses emotional support. Support workers serve as mentors and allies, offering encouragement, empathy, and a safe space for students to express their concerns. By providing emotional support, academic coaches help students build confidence, resilience, and a positive mindset, which are crucial for academic success.
A nurturing and supportive relationship should be established with students based on trust and empathy. They should actively listen to students’ concerns, validate their experiences, and provide constructive feedback. Support workers can also help students develop self-care strategies to manage stress and cultivate a growth mindset, such as dedicating time to themselves, and carrying out exercise and hobbies.
At Servisource, our Educational Support Workers support students with disabilities who may require an enhanced level of support to enrich their learning experience and support their participation in their chosen course of study. Examples of Educational Support Workers include: Personal Assistants, Academic Personal Assistants and Note-takers. Duties include:
Education Support at Servisource
• Our highly experienced team work closely with our Educational Support Workers ensuring the delivery of an elite service to students.
• We understand your world; we speak your language. We have an understanding of the educational needs of students with additional needs.
• We can match the right people with the right skills and knowledge with your student every time.
Academic coaching offers personalised support, skill development, self-advocacy training, emotional support, and confidence building. By following best practices, such as the above, they can effectively assist students with disabilities in achieving their academic goals and overall success in life. Setting them up to thrive now while preparing them for a promising future.