Students with learning disabilities or ADD/HD are often some of the brightest and hardest working people in their schools. Despite their strengths, they often struggle to keep up and need academic support to be successful. Support, along with strong executive functioning (organizing, planning, etc.) and independent living skills, can make all the difference for a student in achieving success in high school and in college.
“What skills do I need to be successful in high school and in college?” Middle school and high school years are a crucial time to develop learning strategies and skills that will assist students through their educational careers. Understanding a student’s strengths and weaknesses and identifying the right supports can make all the difference for students to be successful in school.
I work with students and parents to help ensure that individual needs and interests are met by identifying colleges where the student can be both academically successful and personally fulfilled. Developing a list of potential colleges is only one important part of the college advising and application process. It is critical for students who have learning disabilities or ADD/HD to understand their disability (diagnosed or suspected), to develop and use learning strategies that will help them compensate for that disability and to learn self-advocacy skills so that their specific needs can be met by asking for what they need.
Developing these skills, along with a voice through their essay and interview that demonstrates their individuality, helps students to be more than just their GPA or their standardized test scores. This set of skills helps students with disabilities stand out to an admissions committee in a positive way. These skills help students create a formula for college success. One of the most important tasks that I perform for students, is to understand how much of these skills a student has already learned and what level of support a student will need in college. These factors are an essential part of identifying the ‘right fit’ colleges for students who have a learning disability or ADD/ HD.