Written by: Chrissy Perone-Sunberg, M.Ed., AAC
Not all colleges are created equal when it comes to accommodations for students that have learning disabilities. When your student is in high school, they are protected by their IEP Plan. When they make the transition from high school to college, there are a few things you should know. While the protection of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is no longer available for college students, they are still able to receive appropriate academic accommodations via Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Before your student decides on the right University for him it’s important to do research and find out if the school has a solid program to provide necessary service and accommodations in academics, the residential experience, and campus access.
Every postsecondary institution by law should have a program on campus, but some are more established than others. Some offer a continuum of comprehensive services while others barely offer extended time on tests. Some schools may offer workshops to help students develop study and time management skills. They may have learning specialists with whom students can meet once a week in a one-on-one setting. They may provide more targeted academic advising than students’ regular academic advisor can offer. These services are above what the law requires, so while some schools provide these for free, others incorporate them under a well worth it special fee-for-service program.
There is no federal regulation indicating what type of documentation the college has to accept to prove that your student has a diagnosed learning disability. Some colleges, may require a diagnosis described in a detailed letter from a pediatrician or psychologist or an IEP or 504 plan. Some schools might ask that the student's treating professional complete a form.
Do your research.
Before you set up your tour, I recommend going on the University’s website to find out what type of accommodations are offered. If you are not able to locate the accommodations on-line you can call the department directly. The name may not be obvious. Below are some of the names schools’ call the office that administers accommodations:
Equity Learning Center
Access Academic Center
Access & Equity Learning Support
Diversity Academic Support
Learning Disabilities Special Programs
Learning Resource Center Academic Success Center
Click on the link below and check out some colleges that have well established programs for students with learning disabilities.
Photo from: Pexels
Back to school means back to school mornings – ugh! If you’re like most parents, the mere thought of getting everyone ready for the day makes you want to pull the covers back over your head and throw the alarm clock out the window. Luckily, there is hope. Keep reading for some tips that you can use to avoid the chaos, disorganization, and those morning meltdowns for you and your child.
1. Establish a morning wake time and an evening bed time
Keep it the same each morning and night, even on weekends with some room for flexibility. Begin to get your child into that groove one week before the beginning of the school year by setting bed-time 15 minutes earlier each night (until you hit your target bed time) and wake your child up 15 minutes earlier each morning. This way, your child’s body will start to become tired each night at around the same time.
2. Establish a before bed routine
You can create a list or a visual list (with words, if you like) with the sequence of things your child needs to get done before going to bed (e.g., put back pack by front door, put shoes by back pack, etc). You and your child can go through the sequence together, to begin, until your child is able to commit it to memory.
3. Do as much as you can the night before
That is, avoid the morning time rush by completing many of those ‘tasks’ the night before. For example, take a shower, make lunch, and select clothes to wear for the next day, including socks, hair ties, jewelry, and other accessories at night instead of in the morning. It is also helpful to set the table with the morning breakfast bowls and silverware!
4. Everything in its Place and a Place for Everything
Parents and children alike should have a place to put backpacks, works bags, car keys, lunch boxes, etc. This will help everyone to avoid the “I can’t find my XXX” blues in the morning when time is limited.
5. The AM routine
For some children, having to hear mom or dad say, “brush your teeth” can trigger a meltdown or argument. Help create a personal sense of responsibility for your child that will actually boost his/her self-esteem. Instead of reminding, create a written list or a visual schedule of the morning routine. That way, you can say, “What’s next on your list?” instead of “Did you put on your socks yet?”
Mom and Dad, wake up 15-25 minutes before the kids and get a head start on your morning preparation. Then, there isn’t the stress and rush to get yourself and your children out the door.
Sometimes parents need a “personal touch” to get the morning routine right. Dr. Liz Matheis, a fellow Mom and parenting expert in your neighborhood, provides targeted techniques to help you and your family get on track.
In the interest of your better well-being,
Dr. Liz Matheis
Dr Liz Matheis and her team specialize in assisting children and their families with Anxiety, Autism, AD/HD, Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Struggles