High School Accomidations and College

So here is my situation- Last year, my junior year, I was in a car accident. Two weeks later, I was in another car accident. This lovely moment of my life gave me two concussions. What has been going on is that I am unable to be at school because my head still gives me a lot of issues (concentration, extreme migraines, nausea to the point I can barely stand). I go to a private school, i have about a 3.53 GPA and 23 ACT score. Seems like I need accomidations to finish high school without my head exploding. My parents have made it seem as though that colleges will look down on this GREATLY and won’t accept my admission. We’ve considered Alternative School, online courses, and so forth. If you have any experience with accomidations PLEASE SPEAK UP.

You don’t have to disclose your accommodations to colleges. It will not affect your admissions. Online courses may be a good idea in your situation. Your counselor can write in your rec that you attend online school due to some medical issues, but does not need to (and shouldn’t) say exactly what they are.

My brother is a conservatory student for music. When he was in high school, he missed more than 30 days of school in (I believe) a semester due to music obligations (competitions, performances, etc) his junior year. He took all of his classes online senior year and it did not affect his applications. He got in everywhere he applied and some of the schools he applied to were quite competitive academically.

I assume you are diagnosed with a brain injury. Brain injuries often take a long time to sort out, even taking more than a year. Further, until you get there, it is hard to know what, if any, lasting impact of a brain injury remain.

I suggest that you and your parents talk to your neurologist about symptoms and expectations and whether you need a neuro-psych evaluation to determine the potential impact on your head injuries on learning and academics. This kind of evaluation can and is done multiple times as the need for it persists. In that evaluation, your developmental and academic histories will be reviewed in relation to your brain injury. You will also be tested. Your grades and an ACT score after injury can be compared to your scores/grades before injury. That may give you a better understanding of the impact of the brain injury on learning and current academic functioning. Differences may be in the actual numbers/grades or the amount of time or steps you need to learn and complete academic tasks. Whether and what kinds of accommodations (note spelling, please) you need will be based on the findings of the evaluation. What you want and think you need may be somewhat different from what the neuropsychologist recommends. That professional has been trained to evaluate you, arrive at conclusions, and make recommendations.

If you have already had a psycho-neurological evaluation, your parents on your behalf need to submit that information to the school. You may qualify for a 504 plan or you may receive accommodations under a formal plan used by your particular school. Extended time is the knee-jerk accommodation. Please think beyond this accommodation. Your plan probably will change as your symptoms resolve or become long-term.

Now about college. You may need accommodations for a period of time in high school, but then they are no longer needed. Or, you may find some accommodations that you will need in college and at work. Don’t mention either in your application or writing sample!! It is a civil rights violation to deny college admission to a student with a disability who meets the school’s application requirements (otherwise qualified). You will be subject to the same decision–making strategies that schools use to separate who is admitted and who is denied among (otherwise) qualified applicants. Although some individuals might have negative perspectives on disability, schools receiving federal dollars place themselves in enormous jeopardy in all sorts of directions if they use disability to deny admissions. There are enough attorneys available to pursue denial on the basis of disability if necessary. Don’t be the person who lets his/her disability get into an admissions discussion because you don’t want to taint the application process. THIS IS NOT SAYING DISABILITY IS SOMETHING TO BE ASHAMED Of, just don’t open disability. After admissions and acceptance, contact the disability services offices to find out what you need to do get accommodations.

Your goal now and in the future, is being a productive, proficient learner. If you need accommodations that compensate for limitations of you disability and allow you to be the kind of student and employee you know you can be, why wouldn’t you use them!?