I am writing this in regard to my 18-year-old daughter. She was diagnosed with a learning disability about 4 years ago. Although she has managed throughout high school with support, she wants to pursue higher education. I am concerned that the stress of attending college may be too much for her but I also want to encourage her to follow her dreams. What is available out there to help students with learning disabilities at the post-secondary level?
Wondering in Willowdale
I am glad you wrote with this question. Many parents of children with learning disabilities quickly learn to access the resources offered by primary and secondary school systems, but then fail to realize the many supports offered to post-secondary students. Post-secondary colleges and universities are now offering a myriad of supports to assist students with learning disabilities to traverse the complexities of studying in this new environment. A college student with learning disabilities has unique needs with unique challenges. They may need, for example, access to custom-tailored studying materials, support from their colleagues, or professional guidance and help from the faculty staff.
It is very important, prior to choosing a college, that you and your daughter check out what supports the college may have to offer. Many colleges will offer an on campus support centre. They will offer help with such areas as adapting individual course instruction. They may also suggest alternative types of coursework and testing materials. Your child may also benefit from assistive software and technology. An important piece of the puzzle will also include in-class accommodations.
Building a team around your child will help ensure that she will receive personalized support. This will ensure her post secondary learning experience is both memorable and successful!
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