Research indicates that young people with Learning Disabilities ( LD ) can suffer academic and social difficulties, lower levels of self - esteem, and social isolation. However, several research studies indicated that some children with LD were able to overcome these challenges through self - advocacy, peer support, and self - acceptance. Seeking to build on those results, the research question guiding this study was: What is the lived experience of adolescents with LD in regards to peer support, self - advocacy, and self - acceptance of LD? Interview data from a small purposive sample of four adolescent participants reportedly thriving with LD were analyzed using techniques inspired by Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Results suggested protective factors consistent with the prior studies (e.g., self - advocacy) and also raised hypotheses about additional protective factors: multiple forms of social support (peer, family, and mentoring) and the importance of developing a personal understanding of LD/ADHD. It is hoped that these hypotheses on protective factors derived from the voices of a few adolescents thriving with LD will spark larger scale research that continues to place the authentic lived experience of young people central in research findings.


Learning Disabilities, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, Self - Advocacy, Peer Support, Qualitative Research

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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