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Learning disabilities

zoosermomzoosermom Registered User Posts: 25,950 Senior Member
edited November 2006 in Parent Cafe
Just a question. A friend of mine has a son who has a serious learning disability for which he has been in special programs all of his educational life. This isn't the case of a wealthy kid getting an edge and it's documentable going back to elementary school. She was wondering how the colleges will view his low SAT scores and GPA. Do they "judge" (for lack of a better word) LD students by the same criteria? They applied to a few nice(ish) schools like UConn, UTampa, etc. She is planning to call teh colleges and discuss his situation with the admissions people and was wondering how that would play as well. Any thoughts?
Post edited by zoosermom on

Replies to: Learning disabilities

  • OrangeBlossomOrangeBlossom Registered User Posts: 509 Member
    Would it be possible for a respresentative of the school to contact an admissions rep and discuss the fact that the child has been struggling (hopefully more successfully each yr) with disability and that the disability is the likely cause of the SAT/GPA problem? It would sound more objective than if a parent called.

    My son, also with disabilities, had a good GPA, but because he was not offered time accommodations (which all his documentation, etc., strongly supported) had a somewhat disappointing set of scores (about 150-200 pts lower than on real life scenario practice tests). The main college he was interested in, a small LAC with a great support program, absolutely considered the disability in viewing his scores...knowing he was more capable than the scores demonstrated.

    It's certainly worth a shot, if played sincerely for the benefit of the admissions process and not disingenuosly for the sake of a tip.
  • corrangedcorranged Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    The student should hopefully be applying to schools that have good programs for LD kids. In that case it's more likely that the school has dealt with this issue many times in the past. I would suggest getting a letter from his GC talking about the specific problems he has as well as his coping methods and improvement over time. The GC can explain that his scores/grades do not always match his ability.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    did he get accomodations on the SAT?
    Is he interested in attending college right away?
    If his coursework hasnt gotten him to the level that he could succeed in college, it isn't going to do him any favors to begin someplace that he isnt ready for.
    Colleges legally have to give accomodations- however- they won't specially design curriculum.
    Since one quarter of a college course is supposed to be comparable to one year of a high school course- that may move faster than he is ready for.
    If he has reasonable accomodations in school- that doesn't explain a low GPA, because the accomodations are supposed to give the support that they need to succeed. If they aren't doing that however- then there has to be a way to show that .

    Depending on his disabilty- there are schools that are better than others
    Many schools have accomodations for dyslexic and students with ADD.
    One psychogist who specializes in differences commented that one thing he does when he goes to campuses, is pick out the professors with Aspergers, that is, unless he is at a heavy math/science school like MIT or Caltech, in which he picks out the profs who don't have Aspergers.

    So there are lots of people who have disablities who can be very successful, however,given both a low SAT and GPA- despite receiving support, would make me think that either he isn't getting adaquate support, or that perhaps going off to a 4 year school isn't necessarily the next best step.

    She ( if money isn't a concern) should look at Landmark college- who is known for good support for students that prepares them to transfer to other schools.
  • zoosermomzoosermom Registered User Posts: 25,950 Senior Member
    I'm going to mention to my friend that she should have the GC make the call. The boy is in a special program at a private school for kids with learning disabilities so I'm thinking you're right that the GC would have expertise. As an uninformed and ignorant observer, I don't think they selected any schools that are known for this field. The boy has barely 900 SAT scores and a GPA under 3. Plus no ECs at all.
  • corrangedcorranged Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    If you could, I would also urge your friend to take some time finding and spending time at schools that have good programs for LD kids. I don't remember the specifics, but a few years ago there was an article in one of the college magazine issues about schools who support students with significant LDs. I also agree with EK4; perhaps he isn't ready for going off to college. Some time spent working on catching up in his subjects, learning good methods of dealing with his LDs, and researching colleges where he could be successful would in the end make his college experience happier and more useful. He could also work part time during this period in a job and environment where he can excel and gain some self confidence (I hear many students with LDs struggle with confidence-issues).
  • zoosermomzoosermom Registered User Posts: 25,950 Senior Member
    I know this boy and he doesn't have confidence issues, if anything too much the opposite (if that makes sense). I'm a little unsure what to say because the mother is wonderful but I think unrealistic. He really does struggle and she is looking at schools that are somewhat tough for average kids. I am going to take all your advice about the GC calling the colleges. I think that's just the ticket to help as much as possible.
  • northeastmomnortheastmom Registered User Posts: 12,379 Senior Member
    There is a book for those with disabilites and explains what kind of supports are available to the student. I think the name of it is "K&W", at least I am pretty sure that those initials are in the title.

    Over the years from reading online, I can tell you a few names of schools that might help, but I don't know what stats are needed:

    St. Andrews College in NC, Emory and Henry College, Fairleigh Dickinson (Madison Campus, I believe), Muskingum College (OH), Marist (NY), Clark (MA), Lynn (FLA), Hofstra (NY), Curry (MA), Dean (I think, and in the back of mind I believe it is a 2 year school in MA). I believe that NEU may even have a small program. Many of these programs require extra fees BTW, but I suppose that they are considered when applying for financial aid as a necessary expense and makes the cost of attendance higher (just my guess though; definitely ask).

    Is this student one that should be going to college, or perhaps continuing onto a different program like vocational training?

    There is also a 2 year community college that I have heard of in Florida. The community escapes my mind, but search for it. It is a large community college with at least 10,000 students in Florida. I met a young man years ago who has a learning disability. He attended this school b/c his parents paid for a private service that is next to the school, but not affiliated with the school. They monitor kids, and teach skills that are a part of daily living--laundry, keeping a checkbook, they arranged for tutoring when someone struggled, etc. The young man that I met stayed for 1.5 years and then transferred to Hofstra. BTW, I think that Adelphi also has a program.
  • zoosermomzoosermom Registered User Posts: 25,950 Senior Member
    I honestly don't know what his plans/hopes are and I suspect he doesn't either. I'm going to recommend to his mom that she try to find that book, and also to look at Fairleigh Dickinson because it's in the area they are looking at. Thank you!

    Oh, and he did receive accommodations on the SAT and ACT.
  • corrangedcorranged Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Oh, I didn't even think about it. My oldest sister went to Marist as a part of a program where she had to take fewer classes a quarter and, I believe, got to meet individually or in some sort of group about the material regularly. I don't know the specifics since I was a toddler at the time. I believe it's the kind of school the boy could gain admission to, as well. There is information on their website; this is the introduction to LD support services for prospective students: http://www.marist.edu/specserv/prospect-ldis.html . It sounds like he would be much more successful at a school with LD services.
  • -Allmusic--Allmusic- Registered User Posts: 6,350 Senior Member
    Have him look at Mitchell College in CT. Curry is a good choice too.

    Aside from that, those scores and grades are really low for most colleges, even those with support programs. He sounds as if he needs significantly more support than most colleges, except ones like the two I mentioned, offer.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,604 Senior Member
    Landmark College in VT is known for specializing in LD kids: http://www.landmarkcollege.org/
This discussion has been closed.