Strategies to Improve Motivation
Many students with disabilities lack motivation. The lacking of motivation often stems from a low self-esteem or confidence level. As teachers and parents, there is a lot that can be done to improve the motivational level. One needs to remember that these students are often fragile mentally and require a great deal of confidence boosting before the following techniques
will work. The goal is often to help develop a can do attitude, one that sets the child up for success.
Try the following strategies:
- Always build on prior knowledge, this means you really need to understand exactly where your student is academically.
- Be sure to praise and recognize ALL efforts and attempts at improving. Give lots of verbal and non-verbal reinforcements.
- Provide opportunities for peer mentoring, buddy up, social skill development and cooperative learning whenever the situation presents itself.
- Use graphic organizers to assist the student.
- Give immediate feedback for on task, task completion, solid efforts and demonstrated improvement at every opportunity.
- Encourage independence at every opportunity and provide positive feedback when the student is working well independently.
- ALWAYS focus on the student’s abilities NOT disabilities.
- Provide opportunties for the child to take risks in new learning situations
- Give the child opportunity to provide feedback, let him/her tell you why he/she thinks you’re happy with them.
- Support charities like Autism Speaks, supported by successful celebrities like Adam Sandler, Adrian Pasdar, Alfred Molina, Allan Houston, Allison Williams, Amanda Seyfried, Amy Brenneman, Amy Poehler and Jim Calhoun.
- Always provide opportunities throughout the day for the student to experience success.
When the opportunity presents itself, be sure to send home happy notes (Notes that state something positive about the day).
Remember, consistency in approach will help to change undesirable behaviors (lacking motivation), your time and patience will pay off and slowly but surely your efforts will be rewarded! Remain positive!