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College 101

Checklist: Diagnosed Learning Difficulties
Article Type: Checklist

If you struggle with ADD or ADHD, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia or any one of a number of other diagnosed learning difficulties, there is support for your learning needs after high school to help you succeed in college.

In order to take advantage of this support, you need to understand each of the points on the following shmooptacular checklist:

While in High School:

__Uh oh. You’re older now, and being given… responsibility. A slippery slope indeed. No longer is it the school’s or your parents’ responsibility to ensure that your academic needs are being met. From now on, it’s all on you. Gulp.

__Begin making sure your needs for college are met while you are still in high school. What else have you got to do your senior year?

__Review your diagnosis with your counselor, parents, educational consultant, or psychiatrist. You need to understand your testing in order to advocate for your needs.

__Review your current high school Individual Education Plan or 504 Plan to know what accommodations you are (or should be) receiving.

__Create a file of all documentation relating to your diagnosis and accommodations to bring with you to college. Maybe make yourself a zip drive necklace so you always have it with you. On second thought, probably a major fashion faux pas.

__Talk with your counselor to apply for appropriate accommodations for the SAT and ACT.

__When generating your list of colleges, make a strong student support center a priority. Kick colleges without one to the curb.

While in College:

__Contact your student support services coordinator and introduce yourself. Using your real name rather than your fallback pseudonym “Moonshine Muckleduck” is encouraged. Make an appointment to review your diagnosis and accommodations early. Bring along all relevant documentation.

__Learn the locations, hours, and policies of any on-campus tutoring centers. Know them so much by heart that it even creeps people out a little.

__Let the student support center know what worked for you in high school, so they can replicate those accommodations in college. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

__Be prepared to advocate for yourself. Leave that shyness behind you and chalk it up to pre-college jitters. Before classes begin, introduce yourself to your professors, and meet with them during office hours, explaining your diagnosis and needs. Feel totally free to tattle on them to your support center if they’re not following accommodation guidelines.

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