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Self-Advocacy Skills via DEAR MAN


Social-Emotional Learning ^21st Century Skills ^Extra-curricular/At-Home MS/HS/College Strategy


Self-regulation Expressive Language Social Awareness

Self-Advocacy Skills via DEAR MAN

If your student hesitates to ask for what he needs or has difficulty clearly communicating needs

How To Apply It!

If you can learn how to effectively communicate your needs without being overly demanding or emotional, adults are more likely to be supportive and helpful.

It helps to have an outline of what you want to say so you are sure you are communicating the full problem and what type of help you need.

One systematic structure to make sure you cover all the key information is the mnemonic, DEAR MAN. If you use the same structure each time, it will get easier and you will be more effective at communicating your needs over time.

(a) Describe the situation.

(b) Express how you feel about the situation.

(c) Assert what you want.

(d) Reinforce or express appreciation to the other person for respecting your request.

(e) Mindfulness of your goals or needs.

(f) Appear confident.

(g) Negotiate when necessary. Ask for alternatives. If you are confident in your needs, it is important to self-advocate.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Speaking up for yourself is usually not easy, but it is a common trait among the most successful students, particularly those with learning differences. If students are not clear or balanced in their communication, they might be less successful which might discourage them from trying the next time. Giving a child a structured approach of thinking through the situation will help them be more clear and effective in their communication.