My son is a senior in H.S. this year. He was diagnosed with ADD/ language/memory learning disabilities. The H.S. that he attends is a top 10 High School in Massachusetts. Unfortunatly they educate college bond students where 69% are AP students, 99% go on to 4 yr colleges, and ivy league is the norm. My son was givin the opportunity to go to a Vocational/Tech school outside our town since they do not provide the classes that he wanted, but he refused to leave his friends and community. He has been very successful socially and a great athelete in school, but struggles to pass his college prep courses. Summer school has been a tradition. His guidence councelor recommended that we do not put him through SATs. He chose to take them twice with a high score of 700 total. SO FAR . The guidence department is not providing much on information about voc/tech schools because of there inexperience. The internet and long hours researching K&W guides and web sites has taken up many many hours, looking for schools with services available and classes that he is looking for. We are hitting the wall looking for schools with degrees in Auto Design. He is willing to learn about auto mechinecs but his interest lay in custom design. We have discuss the community college route, but again he wants a school with housing. and a more hands on approach to learning. He has always walked tall among his peers and now the time has come that he is seeing for the first time his disabilities and how he is limited to his direction, comparing himself to his H.S. friends.This is a sad thing to see after seeing him socially at the top of his class carrying atmost confidence. Any i nformation on schools that provide support and tech classes would be greatly appriecated. At this time he has spoken about not going on to further his education. And this is not my confident son speaking.
Without knowing precisely what type of work/career he has in mind, here's what I've suggested to a lot of folks during the past 29 years(and if they can't do it themselves or arrange for assistance to get it done I've done it for them.)
Contact some of the businesses where he would like to work and ask them for training recommendations. Get out the Yellow Pages if you have to and tell the person who answers the phone you aren't looking for a job, just training and work experience requirements.
Does he want to do hands-on vehicle design AND modifications? Does he know how to weld, paint, rebuild an engine and do upholstery? Will he need to know basic, intermediate and advanced machinist's skills in order to produce practical designs? What about knowing how to program and set-up computer controlled milling centers and such?
Or does he see himself sitting at a computer doing nothing but AutoCAD?
I'd check out the work sites before investing any time or money in 'training programs.' The employers know who they hire and where they get their best employees.
Good luck and tell him hi. By the way, I give the same advice to college-bound students - just because some school offers a degree doesn't always mean the employers have historically found the graduates to be useful employees ready to hit the ground running.