Publication Date: December 2008
Publisher: Career Developoment for Exceptional Individuals
This study provides a model of academic identity development for college students with learning disabilities from the integrative self-determination themes of persistence, competence, career decision making, and self-realization. Nineteen self-determined and high-achieving participants were interviewed. The participants’ stories illustrate how persistence influences competence, which in turn influences career decision making and ultimately enhances self-realization and supports one’s academic identity. Knowledge of one’s learning disability, along with self-advocacy and conflict resolution skills, improved the students’ ability to obtain academic accommodations in college settings. Secondary education implications include the importance of providing opportunities for students to (a) acquire self-knowledge about their disability, (b) autonomously practice self-advocacy with teachers, and (c) develop conflict resolution skills within the context of academic accommodation requests.