October 18, 2023

The Importance of Finding the Right Learning Support Assistant for Your Child

In the journey of nurturing and educating a child, the role of a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) is pivotal, especially when catering to the unique needs of people of determination in the UAE. At Prism 7 Education, we understand the significance of finding the right LSA for your child's educational journey. A good LSA can provide individualised support to your child's specific needs, helping them to access the full curriculum and participate in class activities, encourage and motivate them to learn, and build a positive relationship with them and their family.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of finding the right LSA for your child, as well as some tips on how to do so. We will also provide some useful information like a list of questions you can ask potential LSAs during a meeting to help you understand how they will work with your child. As at the end of the day you will know your family and child better than anyone and answers to these questions may help you make the right decision.

What is a Learning Support Assistant (LSA)?

A Learning Support Assistant (LSA) is a qualified professional who provides support to children and young people in schools and other educational settings. LSAs work closely with teachers to help students reach their full potential, both academically and socially.

Finding the right LSA for your child is essential. A good LSA will be able to:

  • Provide individualised support to your child's specific needs. This may include helping them with their schoolwork, managing their behavior, or developing their social and emotional skills.
  • Help your child to access the curriculum and participate in class activities. This may involve adapting teaching materials or providing one-on-one support.
  • Encourage and motivate your child to learn. A good LSA will create a positive and supportive learning environment where your child feels comfortable asking for help and taking risks.
  • Build a positive relationship with your child and their family. This is essential for creating a team approach to supporting your child's learning.

If you want more information about the general importance of LSAs, we wrote more about this in our last article, please have a read here if you would like more of an understanding about what learning support assistants do - Empowering Education: The Role of Learning Support Assistants in UAE Schools

What are the qualities of a good LSA?

Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) play a vital role in the UAE supporting children to reach their full potential. When choosing an LSA for your child, it is important to look for someone who possesses the following qualities:

  • Qualifications and experience: LSAs should have the necessary training and experience to understand and meet the needs of children with a wide range of needs. This may include specialist qualifications in education, early childhood education, or a related field. LSAs should also have experience working with people of determination in a variety of educational settings.
  • Personal qualities: In addition to their qualifications and experience, LSAs should also possess a number of personal qualities that make them well-suited to their role. These include patience, understanding, flexibility, creativity, and resourcefulness. LSAs should also be able to communicate effectively with children, parents, and teachers, and be able to work collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Professionalism: LSAs should be committed to their professional development and to staying up-to-date on the latest research and best practices in educating people of determination. They should also be respectful of diversity and inclusion, and be able to create a classroom environment where all students feel valued and respected.

Finding an LSA who possesses all of these qualities can be challenging, but it is important to remember that the right LSA can make a big difference in your child's education. By taking the time to find an LSA who is qualified, experienced, and has the right personal qualities, you can help to ensure that your child receives the support they need to succeed.

Tips for finding the right LSA in the UAE

When looking for an LSA for your child, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of finding the right person:

  • Ask your child's teacher for recommendations. Your child's teacher will know your child's needs well and will be able to recommend LSAs who have experience working with children with similar needs.
  • Contact local organisations dealing with persons of determination or school district for assistance. Many organisations and school districts have lists of qualified LSAs who are available for hire.
  • You can also speak to businesses like us who specialise in finding and supporting education staff like learning support assistants. See how we support families to find out more and register for support.
  • Interview potential LSAs to assess their qualifications, experience, and fit with your child's needs. Be sure to ask questions about the LSA's experience working with children, their teaching and learning philosophies, and how they would approach supporting your child in the classroom.

Questions to ask potential LSAs

Here is a quick list of some questions you may want to ask potential LSAs during an interview:

  • What are your qualifications and experience in working with people of determination?
  • What are your teaching and learning philosophies?
  • How would you approach supporting my child in the classroom?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses as an LSA?
  • How would you build a relationship with my child and their family?
  • What are your expectations for my child?
  • How would you communicate with me about my child's progress?

Common mistakes to avoid when hiring an LSA

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when hiring an LSA:

  • Not checking the LSA's qualifications and experience. It is important to make sure that the LSA you hire has the necessary training and experience to support your child's needs.
  • Not interviewing the LSA in person. Interviewing the LSA in person will give you a chance to get to know them and assess their fit with your child.
  • Not getting references from previous employers. Contacting the LSA's previous employers to get references can help you to learn more about their work ethic and skills.
  • Not discussing your child's specific needs with the LSA. It is important to be clear about your child's specific needs with the LSA so that they can develop a plan to support them.
  • Not having a clear contract in place. A clear contract will help to protect you and the LSA in the event of any problems.

Working with your child's LSA

Once you have chosen an LSA for your child, it is important to build a good relationship with them. This will help to create a positive and supportive learning environment for your child. Here are a few tips for building a good relationship with your child's LSA:

  • Communicate openly and regularly with the LSA. Let them know about your child's strengths and weaknesses, and keep them updated on their progress.
  • Be respectful of the LSA's professional expertise. Trust them to make decisions about the best way to support your child's learning.
  • Be willing to work collaboratively with the LSA. Offer your support and suggestions, and be open to feedback from the LSA.
  • Thank the LSA for their hard work and dedication. Let them know how much you appreciate their support for your child.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of long term success working with your child learning support assistant, leading to success for your child and building a positive relationship with them. This will help to create a supportive learning environment where your child can thrive.

How can Prism 7 Education help?

At Prism 7 Education we have a network of learning support assistants, and connections to others looking to find new families to work alongside. By working with us you know you will only be setup with LSAs that we feel are suitable and will provide a good fit for your family and children. We will vet any LSAs looking for work in the same way as guidance above, so they will already have passed a lot of the essentially questions we've outlined.

If you want to find out more about what we do and how we might be able to help you, please reach out to us for a free no obligation consultation with one of our team and we'll be happy to talk to you in more detail about our services.

How Can We Help?

Speak to our team today to find out more about what we do and how we can help

Prism 7 Education provide specialist staffing solutions to support education establishments and parents with neurodiverse requirements.
Part of the Prism 7 Group (UK & UAE)
© Prism 7 Education 2023. Part of the Prism 7 Group
Reg Address: Office 3003, HDS Business Centre, Cluster M, JLT, Dubai, UAE
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