It is imperative that the students and their parents begin the transition from high school to college as soon as possible. The accommodations made to younger students are much different once the child reaches the college level.
Preparation must begin early to help the student begin to take charge of life situations. Colleges will expect that the student steps up and take responsibility for education once they are there.
Learning disabilities account for the fastest growing disability among college students. There are certain government mandates that help college students receive an education without discrimination. These government criteria spell out what is necessary for a child to receive the help that they deserve during their college years.
Parents should be working with a counselor who is familiar with these guidelines. Parents and their children need to be proactive in getting the offered assistance once the child enters college.
A learning disabled child should have a strong support system in place during their formative high school years. Parents need to ensure that their child is eligible for the help that they may be counting on, so make sure that applications are sent out to colleges that you know have extra tutoring and student support. Also, many find that colleges with smaller class sizes can be helpful for disabled learners.
A student must possess the ability to pursue the degree that they desire despite their disability. This is assured by specific testing that must be completed within a three-year window of entering college. The student must decide if the disability is to be disclosed. This is a privacy right that not even parents can overturn.
Create an Action Plan
Parents and their children should research the network of college resources available while still in high school. A plan can then be initiated that will help the child get used to the different assistance styles. Basically, it amounts to the child taking on the responsibility for educational pursuits.
Some common ways that colleges will accommodate students are:
Allowing lecture taping, scribes, and readers to assist with lectures
Extra time for assignments and tests may be allowed, depending on the school
Some options may be oral tests, testing in a quiet environment, allowances for more frequent breaks and even people who assist additional problems such as reading.
Study Plan While In College
Students with a learning disability should attend study groups and other supportive activities. Some colleges even provide mental health centers or will refer students to reputable counselors. There may be a substitution of classes if the class is not a critical one for the pursued college degrees.
The knowledge of what to expect should compel parents to take action as soon as possible. The transition to college life will be hard for a learning-disabled student, but it is far from impossible. With proper planning, a student will begin college with realistic goals and proper support.