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Colleges for dyslexic and add/hd students

Today I will be responding to the first of several questions I have received about homeschooling. Please feel free to leave your own comment with helpful suggestions for this worried mom. And if you have your own question, click on the “Email Me Today” link on the right sidebar and send me your question.

I have a question about Universities. I home-schooled my daughter and son till the 12th grade. They both have dyslexia which with a great deal of hard work have managed to overcome. My daughter was also diagnosed with add/hd but my son was only diagnosed with add. They have both finished high school and started in our local community college.

Ironically, my daughter is doing relatively well with the help of the access office with is a program that allows for students such as herself more time with tests, helps with note taking, etc. My son on the other hand has not done so well. I believe he is a late bloomer. He is not so willing to be a part of the access office of the college. He failed the few courses but never fails to be absent from a single class and is always 30 to 45 min early to class. Yet he struggles to meet the required work for the class. I truly feel that he would benefit from attending a small university that understands these types of students.

During the time I home-schooled the children there was not as much support available. At times I was even told I was doing my children a great disservice. The schools were very damaging to my children’s sense of self worth and self esteem and I can clearly see this in my son to this day.

I was hoping I could get some information about a small University that would accommodate this type of student.

I would deeply appreciate any information you may give me.

Thank you so much for your help.

A worried mom

Dear Worried Mom,

There are universities and colleges that “specialize” in students with learning disabilities. I believe there were two or three mentioned in Lauren Pope’s book, Colleges That Change Lives (read my review of Pope’s book).

I did find this website about dyslexia and college, through a Google search, that looked as though it offered support to the dyslexic college student: Dyslexia At College. That website has a discussion forum where you might get better information about specific colleges / universities. It does appear as though the site is selling some sort of dyslexia testing, just so you know.

Since your son’s current college is already offering assistance, though, it sounds like the issue is that your son is not willing to take advantage of that assistance. If your son is not willing to accept assistance offered locally, going away from home to a university likely will not improve that situation. If anything, it will throw additional stressors into the equation, causing him to question himself and his abilities even more. Has he given a reason for why he is not willing to seek out help from the college?

You say you believe your son is a late bloomer, so I wonder if maybe he is just not ready yet for full-time college. Has he tried just taking one or two courses during a semester? Or maybe he is not ready for college at all? Does he have some other interest that he could pursue for a career, something more hands-on? Maybe the reason that he is not willing to seek out the help is because he would rather be doing something else?

Come on, readers! Step forward with your thoughts and suggestions! Feel free to comment if you have advice for Worried Mom.

2 comments to Colleges for dyslexic and add/hd students

  • L. Albea

    My daughter has a dyslexia related LD and she has overcome it pretty well. She has not wanted to access the assistance services where she goes to college now, although I gave her a copy of all her tests and paperwork to show to any professors for classes where she felt she would need accomodation. So far, so good. She uses the writing center to help her with her papers, but it does take her much longer to complete her work than most of her friends do, which is frustrating for her. She waited until she was almost 20 to enroll in college because she did not feel ready to take on a full time course load. She did take part time classes as a dual enrollment student for a year before she started college officially.

    Self-advocacy is one of the things our children must learn in order to be successful adults. If your son is not ready to seek out the help he needs, then possibly he is not ready for a full course load either. Has he held a part-time job? Sometimes, success at a job might boost his confidence in his non-academic strengths. I think Karen’s suggestion of part-time classes might give him the transition he needs, too. Not everyone needs college.

    I do realize that insurance coverage gets sticky when a child is over 18 and not a full-time student. If that is your concern, maybe he can find a job with health benefits or you can find a state supported health care program for him.

  • I was diagnosed with LD when I was a Junior in College. I willingly did what they offered (for me taking tests in a seperate room so I didn’t have the distractions) my grades went from c’s and D’s to straight A’s. It made all the difference in the world.

    My brother struggled as well and was unwilling to accept the assistance. IT was much harder for him but he still managed in the end and now works at NASA.

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