Self-Advocacy Skills

What it is

An area of student need, involving difficulty with the self-expression of one’s needs.

Teaching Strategies


• Provide direct instruction in how to self-advocate.
• Role play.
• Model asking for help.
• Develop a signal for the student to use to ask for help (colored sticky note on his/her desk).
• Recognize when others in the class effectively self-advocate.
• Frequently check with the student for his/her level of understanding.
• Positively reinforce efforts and improvements.
• Regularly conference with the student on self-advocacy.


• Use preferential seating, placing the student close to the teacher or to peers whom the student would be comfortable asking for help.
• Post steps on how to ask for help in the classroom.


• Ensure the student understands the questions.
• Ensure the student has the necessary materials for tests/assignments.
• Chunk assignments into parts and provide feedback on each part.