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Colleges for kids with learning disabilities

Carolina71Carolina71 Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
My son will graduate in June, He will be 17 when college rolls around. We've applied locally in SC but wondering if any of you parents have any real-world advice on colleges that help kids with ADHD, Dyslexia, etc? He has an IEP and I am not sure how well he will do without us checking behind him. PLEASE no judgement, just advice from parents who have dealt with this. Thanks!
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Replies to: Colleges for kids with learning disabilities

  • LonghaulLonghaul Registered User Posts: 2,494 Senior Member
    My advice is to take a GAP Year. Of course, back in 2013, my 17 yr old with ADHD and EF didn't listen. I also liked Colorado College with the one class at a time, but son was not accepted.


    All colleges we looked at required he have extensive testing within the last 3 years. We sent the copies of testing, IEP, etc. to the Disabilities Office. Met with Disabilities Office for an initial intake - Yes, they let the Parent go with the Student for that. Every college we looked at offered extended time testing in a monitored room and note taking.

    What is in his current IEP? Start there and then call the College Disabilities Department and ask what they require in paperwork for him to continue with the services.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 11,041 Senior Member
    My friend sent her very bright daughter off to college with lots of accommodations granted by the school - extra time on tests, schedule with morning classes, permission to use a laptop in class, single room, etc. Still didn't work. Her daughter now lives at home and goes to a local university, where she does very well. She needs a lot of structure and it works best if she lives at home.
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 13,866 Senior Member
    You may want to get this book. https://www.amazon.com/Programs-Disabilities-Attention-Hyperactivity-Admissions/dp/0307945073

    From what I have seen there are three types of universities he could attend independently.
    --A university with support from the Office of Disability Services. But in this scenario your son would have to be proactive and seek out the help when needed.
    --Some universities have more intensive programs for LD kids where they seem to meet more regularly and are more able to stay on top of the students (one example I know of is SALT at University of Arizona but there are certainly others). Some of these programs cost extra.
    --There are a couple of universities specifically for students with learning disabilities (ex. Landmark College).

    Another choice would be to have him start locally (even at a CC) until you feel he is doesn't need you checking up on him as much. IMO this is a viable option, especially since he is young to start college.

    Keep in mind that you will need recent testing (within 3 years I think) to get accommodations in college.

    The critical thing will be to find the right fit where he has the most freedom but still have ample support.
  • Carolina71Carolina71 Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    Thanks, y'all. Yes, he needs to have freedom with ample support like you said Happy1. I do not want him taking a gap year so it might be that he goes to CC then transfer somewhere. However, he has got to learn to be independent at some point. I have heard of SALT and will look into it.
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 13,866 Senior Member
    edited February 15
    There are many programs similar to SALT. For example Hofstra (PALS), Adelphi (Bridges), Marist (Learning Disability Support Program) to name a few. I also saw this article and thought it could be useful although I can't personally vouch for the schools on the list. http://study.com/articles/Great_Schools_for_Students_with_Learning_Disabilities.html I think the book I referenced could be helpful in finding other options. And the CC route might work well for him.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 1,826 Senior Member
    Check out Allegheny in PA. Great school, good learning center support. I get the sense that if you're transparent about what is needed, they will be candid about whether they can give you what you need.

    I've known a couple of artistic kids with LDS who soared at Alfred but I don't know if it was the school or finally turning these kids loose on something that played to their strengths.

  • CorinthianCorinthian Registered User Posts: 1,207 Senior Member
    D2 is a 10th grader with ADHD, depression, anxiety, and mild dyslexia. We are going to tour the SALT center and take the U of Arizona regular tour over spring break. http://salt.arizona.edu/.
  • CorinthianCorinthian Registered User Posts: 1,207 Senior Member
  • Norm54Norm54 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Although all schools have accomodations offices, there are significant differences in programs and levels of support. Add UConn Beyond Access to the list with U Arizona SALT (extra cost). We called accomodation office directors to discuss at several LACs and universities (sent email first). Very helpful.
  • CorinthianCorinthian Registered User Posts: 1,207 Senior Member
    edited February 18
    As I mentioned above, we're touring SALT in 3 weeks so I can message the OP with more info later. But this is what I've ascertained from the website: the SALT program does have extra cost of $2800/semester which includes tutoring. http://salt.arizona.edu/future-students/fees-scholarships. You have access to educational technology like audio note taking apps and Read/Write Gold for dyslexia. http://salt.arizona.edu/edtech. There is a "tech bar" with "tech coaches' at the SALT center where the student can bring his/her laptop and get help. You also get assigned a "strategic learning specialist." http://salt.arizona.edu/services/strategic-learning-specialists. But of course they're not going to wake the kids up in the morning and lead them to the class or library. Note that with SALT you can also get extra Life coaching and ADHD coaching (again for an additional fee). http://salt.arizona.edu/services/life-adhd-coaching. Keep in mind that merit aid is potentially available for both in state and OOS students based on GPA and SAT/ACT score: http://financialaid.arizona.edu/general/net-price-calculator.

    My D is only in 10th but I worry about her motivation and time management in college. Right now what works is me driving her to our local Sylvan learning center 4 days/week. She spends some of that time in a paid group tutoring session and some of it just sitting at tables with other students who are working (similar to a quiet library work table). She seems incapable of concentrating at home, but can get work done with a combination of Ritalin and this environment. But in college I won't be there to say: here, take your Ritalin and get in the car so we can drive to Sylvan. So I do worry even with a program like SALT. I'm hoping she matures in the next two years.
  • DeltaMom2019DeltaMom2019 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    This article mentions some of the schools noted above, but may be helpful.
    http://www.collegemagazine.com/top-10-accommodating-schools-students-learning-disabilities/
  • MaystarmomMaystarmom Registered User Posts: 188 Junior Member
    DD and her cousin are in SALT at U of A. DD's best friend, also in SALT, is extremely dyslexic. All 3 are doing well and feel supported by SALT. I'm really pleased with the tutoring DD is getting this year through SALT. She has a couple of tough business classes especially this semester. If you search my posts, you'll see some posts about SALT and U of A. It does take a student who wants to be in school to make SALT work for them. But that kid doesn't have to be a great student, just dedicated to trying. They are a sophomore and juniors. ADHD and LD's.
  • gummie22gummie22 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    My son is a high school junior with ADHD and other challenges. I'm an adjunct professor in program that trains LD teachers and I also worked as a teacher trainer in special education for 22 years in NYC. After looking at these college choices for a year (I had to start early), I have broken up the programs into 3 categories: fully integrated support programs, standard college programs with fee for service program available, and disability accommodation services that are required at all colleges. Landmark is what I would call a fully integrated program, while SALT is a fee for service add-on. I've narrowed our search to about 5 colleges, and we have already visited 2 - Landmark and U of Arizona SALT Program. We are also going to check out Marist, Curry and UCONN. Now for the most important thing: You have to know your kid and their needs to make a good match, and to trust your gut. My son has sensory processing disorder and anxiety. He has significant executive functioning challenges: time management, planning essays, solving any type of multi-step problem, etc. Personally, given my son's challenges, UA had too many distractions and was too big. (I loved it, for myself.) The SALT program was awesome, but required a high level of self-discipline on the part of the student to "show up." Also, students are required to complete all course requirements at the same rate as all students. My son works slower, and if he took fewer classes per semester, we would still have to pay the per semester fee to SALT. I spoke to several of the students, and the ones who seemed to be thriving were those with dyslexia and LD. I personally thnk my son would be overwhelmed the first semester and have to quit. So -- it didn't seem like a good fit for him. The SALT Center is awesome. It has fantastic assistive tech, strategy tutoring - but I think the huge campus, beautiful weather, and high academic expectatIons would be too much. But we did get a nice trip to Tucson and Disneyland out of the trip. Landmark was a different story. Only 430 students, small class sizes - AND every student on campus has LD, ADHD, or ASD. Knowing that everyone is in the same boat and has struggled through school makes a difference. At the open house, students shared that they had started at community colleges and universities, and weren't able to keep up, and had to drop out. At Landmark, everything is individualized for each student, and the professors know many effective strategies for teaching students with disabilities. There are no accommodations needed because everything is accommodated. With a small campus and fewer students than his high school graduating class (there are 4000 students in his high school), this seemed like a better fit for him. Plus all services are included in the tuition and fees. So for my son, Lamdmark seemed to be a better fit. I keep telling myself, it's not about me, it's about what will work for him to be successful, and not dropout, squandering our college savings in the process. I am hoping to find the right fit the first time! Good luck everyone!
  • CorinthianCorinthian Registered User Posts: 1,207 Senior Member
    I just returned from a tour of the University of Arizona, including the SALT program, today. My D19 is a sophomore in HS. Also, we are residents of Arizona so SALT and the UofA have the added attraction for us of in state tuition and being 2 hours from home. This was out first college tour so we don't yet have a lot to compare it to, and my main purpose in taking D was to give her confidence that there's someplace out there that could work for her. Her issues are ADHD, dyslexia and anxiety. An interesting statistic from one of their handouts: 90% of SALT freshmen are from out of state. Average high school GPA 3.0, average ACT 21.9 and average SAT 946.
  • davisgirldavisgirl Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    Recommend CIP-College Internship Program for 1-2 years to learn self advocacy skills.
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