A teen studying in a classroom, preparing to handle their learning disability while in college

In high school, children with learning disabilities have a number of accommodations. They have an IEP that provides them with special accommodations, such as having more time to take tests or being able to read the material on a tablet instead of a print book. By the time they get to college, however, students will have to figure out what they need to do and what campus resources to utilize in order to succeed. Thankfully, there are a number of ways in which you can prepare your child with learning disabilities for college.

Developing Time Management Skills

Having time management skills is necessary for getting through college. Students with learning disabilities may struggle when it comes to figuring out when and how to do things on their own, since high school was so structured and provided them with specific times and dates for everything. Teaching a child with a learning disability how to properly manage their time can help them successfully get through college.

Determine What Their Unique Strengths and Weaknesses Are

Students with learning disabilities have plenty of strengths. While accommodations can be put in place to help support the areas students find challenging, it’s important that they know their strengths as well. A college student can then choose to play up those strengths so that they can handle the coursework and lectures that come with higher education.

Spend Time in the IEP Process

While parents don't necessarily have to sit in on the IEP process (and many colleges have a policy that an IEP ends with high school graduation), it's always good to know as much as possible about your child. Learning more about their learning disability and how it presents itself will provide you with chances to gain more knowledge about those unique strengths and weaknesses.

Teach Them to Advocate for Themselves

College students are adults, so they need to learn to speak up when they need help or certain accommodations. A student with a learning disability may have spent most of their primary school years having someone, like a parent or a guidance counselor, advocate for them. However, once they get to college, they have more autonomy, and with that comes the need to learn how to ask for help.

Find a School That Offers Special Accommodations

Many colleges have an office of accessibility or learning support services that are designed to help students with learning disabilities. They can provide special accommodations, help teach students how to advocate for themselves and assist them with time management. By picking a school that has one of these programs in place, and then contacting the office in order to set everything in motion, you're helping your student get the most out of college. And the great news? Dean College has a number of learning support programs and services designed for this very purpose. Interested in learning more about all of the ways that we can help your student thrive? Request more info, today!