A statistic suggests that 1 out of every 5 college students has some kind of learning disability better known as Learning Differences in the USA.
Students along with Parents few considerations for evaluating which college options are best suited to your particular learning style.
UNDERSTAND AND KNOW YOURSELF!
It might surprise you to know that many students with LD have never read their LD testing or understand what their diagnosis is and what that means to the way in which they learn. Bottom line – Understand and Know yourself!.
Can you describe the services you received in high school and what worked and what didn’t work?
Not only is it important to know how you learn best, but are you aware of the tasks throughout the day that you do for yourself, that your parents do for you, or that your teachers and counselor do on your behalf? For example, do you wake up on your own in the morning? Do you plan out your day and know how to prioritize tasks? Do you take prescribed medications on your own? Be aware of…you!
ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF
Are you able to articulate your learning disability? Once you go to college, you’ll have to advocate for yourself. Will you be able to talk with your professors about what accommodations you need? It may surprise you to know that only 17% of students who were eligible for support services in high school actually advocate for themselves and take advantage of accommodations once they go on to college. Put yourself out there – learn to advocate for yourself!
Will you disclose your learning differences in your applications for admission to college? Students and their families often fear that divulging a learning disability will hurt their chances of admission. Experts agree that disclosing is a good idea. It can help provide
background information on why you may have struggled, or why grades may be high, but a particular test score low. Be a proud neurodiversity learner!
Do the colleges that you are exploring offer the support services you need? When evaluating a college, book an appointment with their disability office. Find out what types of services they offer. Do their services match your particular needs? If you need executive function coaching or social pragmatics to be successful, make sure the colleges you are exploring offer these supports!
What is the college’s track record specifically for students with LD: retention, graduation, and placement rates? The college may have a great soccer team or an outstanding business program, but make sure neurodiverse students succeed, persist, and graduate!
How accepting/what is the view of the campus community toward students with LD? Is it a warm and welcoming community, one that is inclusive of all types of neuro-diversity? Ask questions, but most importantly visit. Walk around campus, talk with students and faculty, and see if you can ‘see’ yourself there!
Is LD support limited to just the classroom or will you be able to access services throughout all aspects of college life – on the playing field, in the residence hall, and more? If you have an LD, it doesn’t disappear the moment you walk out of lecture or class.