How to Spot a Student Who May Need Your Support - Life.Church Leaders

How to Spot a Student Who May Need Your Support

by Amber Siany

When you’re serving as a Switch Support leader, you’ll always be the MVP at your campus for recognizing a student who’s in distress. You’ll be relied upon to find and support the students who need you most. But what might that look like at Switch?

Students with disabilities don’t have a particular look. Students with autism, severe ADHD, a history of neglect, or any other difference may have become experts at hiding their deep needs. How can we recognize when a student is trying to shoulder the burden on their own, and how can we support them as needed?

When you know what to look for, you’ll soon be able to recognize the needs behind puzzling or difficult behaviors. You will help your campus support students appropriately, so every student and parent knows it’s safe to disclose their support needs to us.

So … Who Might Need Extra Support?

The most important thing to remember? Just because a student has a disability does not mean they will automatically need extra support. Many students with disabilities of all types interact well with their peers and the adult support that’s already in place at Switch.
Here are some signs a student may need help from a Switch Support leader or peer mentor.

What Should I Do?
When you see a student behaving in an unusual way, always ask if you can help! Here are some ways to do that well.

The longer you serve as a Switch Support leader, the more easily you’ll be able to spot the students who need you. A student may have an “off” night one week and an amazing week the next. You’ll soon develop intuition that will guide you on when it’s time to move in and pull back as needed. And God will surely give you wisdom when you ask Him for it!

Utilize time with parents well by asking good questions and good follow-up questions. If you’ve been working with a student for a while and would like more parental insight, talk to your campus staff to see if you can get some contact information for the parent. Use the questions above to help you lead through a great phone call! Or, ask a parent if they can stay for 5 minutes at drop-off so you can ask them for some advice.

Switch Support, thank you for using your gifts to find and support the students who need you. You’re allowing every student to feel safe and a part of their Switch community.