College Students with Learning Disabilities – What to Avoid?

The college graduation rate of students with learning difficulties is lower than the average for their peers, it is a fact. Does this mean that students with LD are less intelligent than their peers? It does not appear that this is the case. According to McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine a learning impairment is “a suboptimal capability to read (dyslexia), create (dysgraphia), and perform mathematical operations(dyscalculia), as well as other cognitive skills in a child of presumed ordinary intelligence.” If you are looking for quality disability support services anywhere and under any circumstances, you can find them on disability support services Melbourne.

This author has been a college Learning Specialist for thirteen years and identified six factors that lead to freshmen falling downhill. These six behaviors are:

* Failure to disclose – Students who choose not reveal often do so to remove the stigmatizing “LD” label that has been a part of their identity for years. This is their first serious mistake. Students with learning disabilities are required to attend the same college classes as all other students. They also have to meet the same academic requirements. All information is kept confidential. Only the disability services department and teachers that the student tells are informed. IEPs are a guarantee that students will receive academic support as well as special services in high school. IEPs at college are not possible. Students who fail to disclose suddenly discover they are no longer protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act and are ineligible for the accommodations/services recommended in their documentation. This means that the student moves from being supported in high school to having to walk a tightrope in college without any safety net. This sudden change can often be overwhelming and very difficult to handle.

* Begin with a full load of classes – Another big mistake is the assumption students can handle five subjects in highschool and still manage college courses. They do not realize that the entire text can be covered within a 15-week college semester. High school students with disabilities are typically expected to do little homework and spend only a few hours a week studying. Students in college can expect to work two to three extra hours for every hour spent in class. If a full-time load has 15 credits, students could expect between 30 to 45 hours of homework,/or study per week. That’s in addition the 15 hours that they spend in class. Instead of taking a full load, students should only take what they are capable of handling. It is better to begin slowly and build confidence rather than trying too hard and falling apart. A student who starts with a less demanding course load is more likely to achieve a high GPA (grade point average). It is much easier to maintain an excellent GPA than it to raise one. If the disability service provider sends a letter to Joe indicating that Joe is a full time student with nine credits due a documented learning impairment, it is possible for him to accept a reduced course load but still remain on his parents insurance plan. To confirm your child’s coverage, contact your insurance company anonymously. If the insurance company requires proof of full time student status, you must submit the letter.

* Poor time management and organizational skills. Perhaps the most critical factor in college organization is the daily organizer. High school students had an assignment pad, but college students have too many tasks to keep track of. This planner should contain all of their academic, social, and professional responsibilities. They must not double-book. An academic planner, which runs from August-August, is the best. It also has M/W printed on the cover. This means that it has weekly views and monthly views. This ensures students have both short-term and long-term views.

* Too many work hours – In a perfect universe, students would be able to attend college and not have to work. Unfortunately, for many students this is not possible. Students should limit their work hours to 15 hours per week due to college’s unique challenges. Students who work while at school often have difficulty switching gears. Colleges offer long summer and winter vacations where students can earn money and work full-time. For the ultimate reward of an education, maturity is necessary. Ideally, school should be considered the student’s full-time job.

* Inability or unwillingness to say “NO” – Due to the unique structure and organization of college schedules, students may only be able to attend two hours of classes on a given day. This creates the illusion of more free time than high school. This deceitful illusion is because college time is not really “free”, it’s just unstructured. Students may be tempted to postpone their schoolwork until the last minute, and to accept invitations that are not compatible with their grades. Many college students commute and retain the high school mentality. They leave school at the end of class, return home, and then find a distraction in the form of computers, TV, and family. Many residential students return to their noisy dorms when classes are over, where temptations abound. Students who succeed learn to be self-disciplined and go to quiet places like the library to focus without distractions. Even if they have trouble concentrating for longer than 30 minutes at once, they can still take a five minute break and resume their work. Each location has its connotations. For example, the school library states that this is the best place to work. Additionally, it’s much more difficult to feel sorry for yourself when one is surrounded with others who are also studying.

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