For students with Learning Disabilities, college can seem like an even more daunting task than for most. The best thing that can happen is make sure the student is ready for college maturity wise and is at least close to the 12th grade level in the basics of reading, math, science and history upon graduation and all tests are passed. The student also needs to understand the nature of his or her disability and what they need. They will also need to be tested for learning disabilities by somebody licensed to identify them as being Learning Disabled within the last three years to receive accommodations. Due to ADA laws, colleges are required to make reasonable accommodations. However, for various reasons some accommodate better than others.
The next thing that needs to happen is the college bound student needs to understand the nature of his or hers disability and what they need for classes in various formats. Also, it is a good idea for parents to make sure their kids with learning disabilities don’t have a problem asking for help. While laws for reasonable accommodations are in place, they are not enforceable if the student does not ask for help. This could potentially have a huge impact on the success or lack thereof in college. If this is an issue then it would be recommended either one of two things be done:
The college student join some type of club and actually participate in students with learning disabilities, kind of like a support group;
Go see some type of a counselor and uncover the root cause as to why this behavior has occurred and discover a solution as to what can be done to correct the behavior and improve their overall well being in the future..
Once the acceptance factor, testing and readiness all come into play, next comes the fun part. Choosing a set of colleges and narrowing them down. Besides looking at all the obvious stuff everybody else has to figure out such as cost of living, meal plans, possible job, etc. there are two other visits that probably should be made. The first would be to the department head of the program which the college student will be applying to and the next will be to the disabilities office.
When meeting with the department head, the main things you need to find out is how well professors and himself deals with LD students and the other professors into the department and many other likewise kids there are when it comes to this issue. The disabilities office may be able to provide some insight into this as well.If there is not one or if there are not many other kids there with Learning Disabilities that makes it more challenging for everyone and probably not a place they need to go. You also may want to check out the college by word of mouth as well. Good sources are previous students, some colleges actually have web sites where students can post their own opinions of professors and of course the learning disabilities office themselves. When it comes to certain issues some professors are just hard headed and need to be avoided at all costs. Others are insanely popular. This is something the disabilities office can assist with.
However, there is one other factor most parents won’t like that disabilities offices may recommend; keep in mind this all depends on the nature of the disability. It is taking less hours at least at first every month. Most disabilities offices will recommend 12-15 hours a semester which may equal five plus years worth of college. It all depends on the number of credit hours for the specific program they are going in to.
The best way to deal with the workload is to have the initial schedule done through the disabilities office and then have the students assigned adviser look at it to make sure it is still in compliance with department requirements and it makes sense as far as the sequence of classes that need to be taken.
There are also other various types of benefits certain disabilities offices offer their students. It would be a good idea to check out what is offered. For example they may have laptops to give students to take notes on their computers, others may hire note takers in classes and all other forms of perks. This is actually something which can be done to increase the students quality of living.