This article reports on an investigation into the development of teacher autonomy in helping students overcome academic reading challenges. The study followed a three-stage design using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. It commenced with exploring the scope of the academic reading challenges students experienced through an open-ended survey, the results of which were then used to construct a Likert-type questionnaire which asked them to rate the challenges and also to suggest strategies they used to deal with the challenges. In the second stage, the teacher initiated an intervention by arranging a focus-group discussion during which the students discussed the questionnaire findings and considered how they applied to themselves. The third stage involved a follow-up written reflection in which the students evaluated the insights from previous stages and considered ongoing action to address their challenges. As a result of the study, the teacher developed autonomy by gaining insight into students’ academic processes and strategy deployment, which informed ongoing decision-making and helped to more accurately target the assistance they needed. An added benefit was that the students also gained insight into their challenges and were able to develop their own autonomy by considering effective ways of dealing with them. Suggestions are made for ongoing research.