College Search and Preparation Resources for Students with Different Types of Disabilities
All students who attend college make a big transition, as the academic environment is different and more demanding, and those who choose to live on campus have to take charge of creating their own structure in order to get things done. An additional shift for students with disabilities is that the system for receiving accommodations is different than the one they are used to from high school, and some accommodations and supports they're used to receiving may not be available. Students should be prepared for these changes, and they should know what questions to ask when looking at colleges.
In my work in the transition field, I come across resources for students with learning disabilities and ADHD, as well as for students with other types of disabilities. Here are books and posts I think families will find helpful in their student's preparation and college search.
Learning Disabilities and/or ADHD
Students in this group need to know about academic accommodations and supports. They should be aware that assignment and test modifications typically aren't available, and that colleges aren't required to have learning disabilities specialists on staff.
Resources on college searches
"Choosing a College: How to Help Kids With Learning and Attention Issues Weigh the Options" - my post for Understood
"Focusing on Fit: Special Considerations for the College Search for Students with ADHD and LD" - advice on my main site (extending beyond the ideas in the Understood piece)
Find a College Counselor - on this page on my main site, and offer the names of college counselors I know who truly specialize in helping students with learning disabilities. (All can work virtually, but I also offer tips for finding one near you.)
The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences, 14th Edition - this book contains information on services at several hundred colleges across the country
Resources on preparation
Ready for Take-Off - Preparing Your Teen with LD or ADHD for College - a book for parents by experts Theresa Maitland and Patricia Quinn
Students with psychological disabilities
These students need to be aware of the limitations of college mental health services. They also need to have strategies for coping in the stressful college environment.
Resource on college searches
"A mental health professional's advice on college searches for students with psychological disabilities" Laura DiGalbo, professor at Southeastern Connecticut University and specialist consulting to families, offers her advice on this blog
Resource on preparation
"Help Your Child With Psychiatric Needs Prepare for College" - Dr. Marcia Morris. a psychiatrist at University of Florida, writes for Psychology Today (she also has written a book - The Campus Cure: A Parent's Guide to Mental Health and Wellness for College Students)
" Preparing Students with Psychological Disabilities for Successful College Transition" - advice on my blog from Laura DiGalbo
Students on the Autism Spectrum
Students in this group need to know that there may not be specialized resources available to them, and some will need to be aware of the academic and behavioral expectations for college students.
Resource on College Search
"Evaluating On- and Off-Campus Supports for College Students on the Autism Spectrum" - tips from college autism expert Jane Brown on this blog
College programs for students on the autism spectrum - list provided by Brown and her fellow experts at collegeautism.com
United States College programs for autistic students - list provided by College Autism Network
Resources on Preparation
College Autism Expert Offers Advice To Prepare Students on the Spectrum for Transition to College - college autism expert Lorraine Wolf shares her tips on this blog
The Parent's Guide to College for Students on the Autism Spectrum - book by Brown and Wolf and their two co-authors
Students with physical and medical disabilities
Students in this group should know that colleges are not required to provide personal attendants or medical care. They may also need to know about certain kinds of academic accommodations, especially those concerning attendance.
accessiblecollege.com - Annie Tulkin, a disability specialist, offers advice on her site (she is also available to consult to families)
Resources from the U.S. Dept. of Education's Office for Civil Rights for All Students with Disabilities
"Dear Parent" letter about postsecondary transition
To see other topics I've covered in the blog, browse the categories at the right of the page or click on the magnifying glass at the top of the page to use the search feature.
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Learn why there are changes for students with disabilities at college an how to prepare them for the transition (focus is on learning disabilities and ADHD but the information is applicable to all). Read my book, From High School To College: Steps to Success for Students with Disabilities.