Tips for College Students with Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities is a broad term used to describe conditions in which students have difficulty conceptualizing information and communicating information received. Learning disabilities have nothing to do with intelligence. People with learning disabilities can have average or above average intelligence. In fact, learning disabilities and giftedness sometimes go hand in hand. The difference between the student who lets their disability impair learning and the student who does not use their disability as a roadblock is being proactive about their learning.

Use Disability Services

The first tip for college students with learning disabilities is identifying the resources offered at the university. Disability services help students with learning disabilities. They provide note takers or offer extended time to take tests. You should not be embarrassed to ask for help. The university is obligated by law to provide services for you. They often provide documents for you to present to your professor, letting them know you have a learning disability.

Get Tutoring

Get a tutor before you start having problems, especially in courses that are not your strength. The university may provide tutoring designed for students with disabilities. The Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center (SALT) at the University of Arizona works with students with learning disabilities. Tutors receive ongoing training to work with students with learning disabilities. Students set up standing appointments or schedule tutoring as needed. Even if your university does not have a tutoring center specifically designed for students with learning disabilities, learn where you can get tutoring. Departments sometimes have their own tutors in addition to tutoring centers for the general college population.

Make a Schedule and Make Notes

At the beginning of the semester, professors provide syllabus of assignments and lectures, either on paper or online. Use this document as a guide for a work schedule. Creating schedule helps you break down work into smaller parts. Instead of procrastinating, you have goals you plan to reach each day. Working on class work each day helps you remain ahead of the game. Keep a pencil handy to make notes or circle concepts that are confusing. Knowing what you need to work on will help when you meet a tutor or if you need to speak with your professor.

Use Technology

Computer technology helps college students with learning disabilities. Go to the library or academic learning centers and ask how these programs work. Inspiration Software helps you organize ideas for papers by creating an outline of concepts. Kurweil Education Systems has software that helps improve your reading, math and writing skills. Using technological software offers an interactive learning experience.

Talk to Your Professor

If you don’t understand a concept, speak to your professor during their office hour. They can explain the concept in a more relaxed environment. If you are writing a paper for a class, ask your professor if you can submit rough drafts for them to look over. If your thesis meanders, they can help you focus. Don’t wait until you are failing the class to get help.

College students with learning disabilities have the same opportunities to succeed as students without diagnosed disabilities. If you have a learning disability, you have to be proactive and organized. Use the resources offered at the university to be successful college students and have a plan of action so you don’t get behind. By following the above-mentioned tips, your college career will be less stressful and you can feel the pride of accomplishing your goals.