What Is Switch Support—And Who Are the Students They Work With? - Life.Church Leaders

What Is Switch Support—And Who Are the Students They Work With?

What’s your favorite part about being a Switch leader? Most likely, it’s connecting with students to show them how much Jesus loves them regardless of their background, social skills, emotional needs, sensory needs, cognitive abilities, and physical abilities. But some of the students we’re trying to reach need more support than what you as an individual small group leader can give. That’s where Switch Support leaders and peer mentors step in.

When you recognize that a student needs extra support, you can enlist the help of the Switch Support leaders at your campus. They may sit with you in small group discussions, using sensory tools to help a student stay focused. They may give an overwhelmed student a safe place to take a quiet break if needed. Peer mentors are dedicated friends to students who may feel lost, lonely, or overwhelmed at Switch without them. This article will explain more about what Switch Support leaders do and the students they may serve.

Before you read on, though, take note of this. A student may have an identified difference or disability, but that does not always mean they need additional support. Switch Support is for any student who is dysregulated and demonstrating that their emotional, cognitive, or sensory systems are overloaded for any reason. For example: A student with Down Syndrome may be able to participate in Switch without any additional support. Or, a student without any known disability might be dealing with a new foster placement. That student may require extra assistance to be able to stay comfortable at Switch. This list will give you some examples of a few of the special needs students who use Switch Support display.

What Do Switch Support Leaders Do?

Who Are the Students a Switch Support Leader Might Work With?

It’s worth repeating: A student may have an identified difference or disability, but that does not always mean they need additional support. Switch Support is for any student who is dysregulated and demonstrating their emotional, cognitive, or sensory systems are overloaded for any reason. For example: A student might be dealing with a new foster placement. That student may require extra assistance to be able to stay comfortable at Switch. This list will give you some examples of a few of the special needs students who use Switch Support display.

A student has an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

A student has a vision impairment.

A student has a hearing impairment.

A student has a physical disability.

A student has a significant Attention Deficit Disorder and/or Hyperactivity Disorder.

A student has Sensory Integration Disorder or a Sensory Processing Disorder.

A student has a seizure disorder.

A student has Down Syndrome.

A student has a history of neglect or abuse.

The bottom line? If you’re becoming frustrated or overwhelmed by challenging behaviors or feel like a student is unable to receive from Switch, a Switch Support leader may be able to help that student become better regulated and to better understand what God wants to do in their life. Switch Support leaders and peer mentors can assist you as you lead everyone in your group to feel included and safe enough to let down their guard and join their peers as they follow Christ together.