tagline
WETA

Search LD OnLine

Get our free newsletter

advertisement

Forums
Postsecondary Education

College survival possible?

Go to page:   |<   <   1   2   >   >|


Author Message
Joined: Apr 15, 2007
Posts: 11
Other Topics
Posted Apr 16, 2007 at 9:32:07 PM
Subject: College survival possible?

My son is a sophmore in high school. He has ADHD and dyslexia. He is very disorganized, and needs a lot of help getting homework completed. He is quite smart (IQ 121), but struggles to complete the school day. Does anyone know of a student like this who has made it through college? If so, what colleges would you recommend.
Thanks.

Back to top Profile Email
Goodysbaby
Joined Nov 03, 2004
Posts: 59

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 17, 2007 2:54:08 PM

I would look for a college with a strong academic skill center. A college that offers learning support specialist that your son could meet with once a week (or twice) to set up a schedule and show his follow through. The dyslexic can be helped with screen readers in college. I would also look at campuses with some type of screen reader on their computer labs example would be kurzweil. Strong writing centers with experienced writing consultants would also be important.

My son is also a sophomore severe ADHD and dyslexic. I believe he is going to make it through college. I work as a disability coordinator and I see everyday how hard these students work to succeed, it can be done.

Shel If your not kicking hard enough your not making waves!

Back to top Profile Email
JonsMom
Joined Apr 15, 2007
Posts: 11

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 18, 2007 7:56:03 AM

I have the Peterson's Guide - "Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or ADD" which lists all colleges that offer services. I like the Kurzweil suggestion, since my son uses that in high school. ADHD and dyslexia are such difficult disabilities to have combined. My son is unable to study a foreign language, and he has been told that he would get an exemption in college. I hope that is correct. I am most concerened about his getting to classes and getting his work done without the constant support he gets at home and high school. It's not clear from the Peterson's guide how much help is really offered. I suppose we will have to talk with each college individually.

Back to top Profile Email
geodob
Joined Feb 06, 2005
Posts: 265

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 19, 2007 4:40:07 AM

Perhaps the main issue is addressing his organizational skills, or lack of? Which is a life skill that extends beyond college.
Where the challenge is to help him define and develop a set of organizational skills, that work for him.

Back to top Profile Email
JonsMom
Joined Apr 15, 2007
Posts: 11

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 20, 2007 9:11:06 AM

Organizational skills seem to be a requirement, but how does one teach them? I am very organized, and have tried to pass that on to my son, but nothing has worked. Has anyone had any success in this? It seems critcal for college survival!

Back to top Profile Email
geodob
Joined Feb 06, 2005
Posts: 265

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 21, 2007 5:00:29 AM

Hi JonsMom,
You ask: 'but how does one teach them?'
Yet you also write that you are 'very organised'.
Where I might suggest that you are trying to teach him organisational skills, that are more suitable for a naturally 'organizational thinker'.
Where he really needs to identify and develop a set of organisational skills, that work for him?
Perhaps you could talk a bit more about his 'type of Dyslexia'?
Where perhaps the issue, is to identify his: 'Way of Thinking'?
Geoff,

Back to top Profile Email
Angela in CA
Joined Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 88

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 23, 2007 11:04:41 PM

Today, I'll tell you yes, college survival is possible. Tomorrow, though, I'm not so sure. Actually, that's my attempt at humor and the reality that my son is still at the day by day, week by week, sometimes semester by semester level. (My husband say hour by hour).
Background. My son is dyslexic and originally had an ADHD diagnosis which is probably now Aspergers. He struggles to read and spell, uses Dragon dictation software, a text reader and books on tape. He is very organized and has a near perfect auditory memory and a very high IQ. He is just weeks from completing his Freshman year of college, living in the dorm at a small liberal arts college in California.
We very carefully picked a small college with good disability office and regular ed support services too. The college is about two hours from home and like almost all the students he is required to live in the dorm. He has not taken a foreign language, nor do I think college math will be possible.
First semester was very, very hard. He was frustrated and upset a lot. He did not want help from the LD office, which had a complete change of personnel and didn't seem to know nearly as much as I had hoped. He came home for Christmas and did not take the short January term, so that gave him 6 weeks to think about whether to return to the second semester classes he had registered for. He did go back and despite a more difficult schedule than first semester he has managed his work, classes, dorm, friendships better and with a lot more calm.
The college has books on tape, kurzweil, peer tutors and time management courses. My son uses some services.
He did wait a year after high school before starting college.
I would be happy to talk about more specifics if it would be helpful to you. With your son being a sophomore in high school you still have time to help him get ready. Try to seek help for the organization skills - how to organize his notebook, keep up with assignments and due dates. Make sure he is taking challenging classes that give him a good knowledge base and check on accomodations for the SAT or other tests. Think about whether he will benefit from a year off after high school. Look at the LD programs at the colleges you are considering.
I don't know how the language and math requirements will be resolved, but we will figure that out @ junior year, if and when. Right now, college has been a real growing experience and while very hard for him, we feel very good about the progress he is making.

Angela

Back to top Profile Email
jnuttallphd
Joined Jan 11, 2004
Posts: 64

Other Topics
Posted:May 01, 2007 1:56:11 PM

I have dyslexia and have written a short article Tips for College which is at my web site Effective Parenting for Education www.geocities.com/jnuttallphd

I highly recommend talking to students at the college or university you are considering. The students can tell you if the office for helping dyslexic students is really a help or not.

James Nuttall -- Michigan

Jim -- Michigan www.geocities.com/jnuttallphd

Back to top Profile Email
JonsMom
Joined Apr 15, 2007
Posts: 11

Other Topics
Posted:May 10, 2007 8:22:42 PM

Angela,
Thanks for all of the information. Computer troubles caused my last posting to disappear, unbeknownst to me. Anyway.... did your son have organizational help in college. That is what concerns me the most about my son, as well of his inability to get homework done. Once he goes to college, the amount of reading and writing required will increase. Also, living in a dorm will distract him further. Was your son able to have a private room for less distractions? Is that something that one can request?
Thanks,
JonsMom

Back to top Profile Email
Joe Tag
Joined Dec 19, 2014
Posts: 102

Other Topics
Posted:May 10, 2007 10:29:34 PM

Jon's Mom --- I work at Kean University and I have attended Davis and Elkins College, WV; Union County College (NJ); and Kean University. Email me your questions, and I will do my best to help. See my other remarks I have posted. I look forward to your note. /signed/ Joe Tag.

Back to top Profile Email
Angela in CA
Joined Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 88

Other Topics
Posted:May 11, 2007 1:17:27 AM

There is organizational help available at the college "Center for Academic Success". Willing students are paired with an older peer tutor who will meet with them to plan assignments, study etc. Unfortunately, convincing my son to get the help has not been that easy. Although we have definitely talked about the fact that from day one it was not our intention that he "go it alone". He has learned that he needs to balance his work load so that it is not too heavy on the reading and writing. He also seems willing to take a 1 unit course on study skills and organization next semester.
Regarding the dorm, there are a few private rooms. We did not sign up for one originally hoping that he would have a friendly roommate that would help our son ease into the social environment. The roommate situation has not been that good. At room draw, our son drew a different dorm and will have an unknown roommate, but he took the initiative to be first in line to get on the private room waiting list.
We did try to have him talk with other ld students before enrolling, but due to confidentiality, the college would not introduce him to anyone.
He has one more week of Freshman year. It has been a hard year for all of us, but he has learned so many skills and grown so much more independent. Hope our experiences are of some help.

Angela

Back to top Profile Email
jnuttallphd
Joined Jan 11, 2004
Posts: 64

Other Topics
Posted:May 11, 2007 4:23:07 PM

Hello Moms:

My stepdaughter needed a great deal of coaching and helped while in high school. We always made sure the homework came home and we helped her to complete it. She went to the community college here in our town after high school. She was living on her own. Although I had a lot of fears, she handled going to class, doing her assignments and taking her tests without my help. I did help with one class Anatomy and Physiology. I helped tutor her through that since I love biology myself. She was successful in completing her community college program, that's as far she wanted to go.

With the wonderful assistive technologies available today right dyslexic students should be able to get through college. I always enjoyed having student readers while I was in college. It offered me both academic support and some friendships. Since much of the reading is now done with screen readers perhaps the additional support can come from student tutors/study buddies.

Jim -- Michigan www.geocities.com/jnuttallphd

Back to top Profile Email
Sportshere
Joined May 18, 2007
Posts: 1

Other Topics
Posted:May 18, 2007 9:19:22 AM

The one thing that was very helpful that I did was to contact the disabilities office of the schools that my son was interested in and ask about their support services. When we would go to visit a college we would try to set up a time to talk to someone there or during an open house at the college they would have a disability office person there.

I also talked to the special education coordinator at the high school, his academic counselor and the college and career center at his school. They all had good insights. In addition we got the Peterson's book for colleges for students with learning disabilities to see how they described their program as well as having contact names and numbers.
Good luck.

Back to top Profile Email
JonsMom
Joined Apr 15, 2007
Posts: 11

Other Topics
Posted:May 18, 2007 1:44:33 PM

Does anyone have any experience with colleges in the Northeast that are the most supportive? I have the Peterson's guide, but of course they don't rate colleges based on LD support.
I am also reading that a private dorm room might be best. My son is very disorganized, so a roomate might not be happy with his lack of housekeeping skills. Are private rooms easily obtained?
Thanks,
JonsMom

Back to top Profile Email
Amanda Robertson
Joined Jul 09, 2007
Posts: 4

Other Topics
Posted:Jul 09, 2007 10:30:31 AM

JonsMom,

To answer your original question, YES-- succeeding in college is certainly possible for your son. I would need to know more details about your son before making specific recommendations, but there are lots of colleges with varying levels of support for students. In the northeast, you may want to consider looking at Landmark (VT), Curry (MA), Fairleigh Dickinson (NJ), Mitchell College (CT), New England College (NH), Univ of New England (ME), ... there are many, but that is a good place to start. The Peterson's guide is good, but you are smart to be cautious about a school's self-described level of support. You will need to ask LOTS of questions to figure out whether a school is a good fit for your son.

Take Control of the College Admission Process www.robertsoneducation.com

Back to top Profile Email
JonsMom
Joined Apr 15, 2007
Posts: 11

Other Topics
Posted:Jul 14, 2007 11:46:23 AM

Amanda,
Thanks for the list of colleges. I have also considered Hampshire College, U. Mass. in Amherst, and Brown University. Do you have any experience with them?
Do you know if special needs students go through the usual admission process, or do they apply through a special program? If one declares special needs, does that make it more difficult to be admitted?
Thanks for your help!
JonsMom

Back to top Profile Email
Amanda Robertson
Joined Jul 09, 2007
Posts: 4

Other Topics
Posted:Jul 23, 2007 4:15:34 PM

JonsMom,

Sorry for the delay (haven't been on in a while). If I had to quickly rank those 3 in order of LD support, I'd say 1) BU, 2) Hampshire, 3) Brown. BU has a pretty strong program (though they do charge for some services, I think). Brown and Hampshire have decent programs, though not necessarily much more than what's required. So, it really depends on what you're looking for in terms of support for your son. This is something that his counselor should be able to assist you in determining.

Amanda

Take Control of the College Admission Process www.robertsoneducation.com

Back to top Profile Email
LauraM
Joined Jul 24, 2007
Posts: 2

Other Topics
Posted:Jul 24, 2007 1:16:44 AM

JonsMom,

I just wanted to throw my own experience in as a college student with ADHD. First off, I don't know if teaching organization is possible for someone like me. However, if I am determined to accomplish something, no matter how unorganized I, I will do it. Basically I'm saying that although I had extreme organizational problems in college (as well as extreme procrastination) I was able to get my BA with a 3.8 since I was very determined. I think your son has to really want to do well, otherwise it's very hard for us with ADHD/LDs to stay focused enough to follow through. I'm now in law school and no matter how hard I try I can't get above a C because the timed exams are killing me. I just started getting accommodations of timeandahalf and a private room for exams, which helped some, but I still need more time. Your son should be able to get a private room, or at least a less-distracting environment, for his testing. As far as applying as a special needs student or requesting services later, ask the schools directly. With my law schools, I was supposed to apply first and then request accommodations, but its probably different everywhere. By the way, I had to provide documentation of very extensive testing. The average price for the testing is 2,000, but I was lucky to find someone to do it for about 600. Hope this helped.

Back to top Profile Email
JonsMom
Joined Apr 15, 2007
Posts: 11

Other Topics
Posted:Jul 24, 2007 10:57:18 AM

Amanda and Laura,
Thanks for the information about specific colleges and life as a student with ADHD.
One of my degrees is from BU, but I hadn't thought of it for my son because it is so large. I thought he might get a bit lost, so I have focused more on smaller colleges.
I agree that he needs to be really determined to succeed. Over the years his teachers and I have tried to used different methods to help him organize. We have not been successful. I really don't think organization can be taught. The lack of structure in college may make things worse for him, but he does have a competitive streak which may help him.
Thanks again for the information.
JonsMom

Back to top Profile Email
Aly
Joined Aug 01, 2006
Posts: 74

Other Topics
Posted:Aug 21, 2007 10:46:32 AM

College is definitely possible and one can succeed. I have a friend with dyslexia who is now a nurse. I have multiple learning disabilities and attentional issues and I now teach mathematics (not to be confused with arithmetic) and science. It is important that the disabled student services be contacted at any possible college, to see what is available. Of course, the ADA guarentees accommodations, but some colleges offer extras. Also, a private room is not nearly as important as a quiet dorm. Some freshman dorms are quite noisey, so requesting a quiet dorm would be a priority. Perhaps having a stranger as a room mate would give him incentive to keep things neeter? It worked for me. My apartment is a clutted mess, but my dorm room was neat as a pin.

If you are anywhere near Ohio, I highly recommend Kent State University.


"Never give up, never surrender" -Galaxy Quest

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” -Albert Einstein

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; Be afraid only of standing still” -Chinese proverb

Back to top Profile Email
JonsMom
Joined Apr 15, 2007
Posts: 11

Other Topics
Posted:Aug 21, 2007 3:26:20 PM

Gretchen,
Thanks for your comments. Kent State is a possiblity, although we are out of state. What help did they provide?
Thanks,
JonsMom

Back to top Profile Email

Go to page:   |<   <   1   2   >   >|