Tips for Post-High School Planning

Although students apply for college in their senior year, preparation for college begins several years earlier. To guarantee the best outcome for a student with LD or ADHD, parents, students, and support personnel must mount a coordinated effort that begins when a child enters high school. In fact, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team begin to consider post-secondary school goals freshman year. Following are tips and strategies to keep you and your child on track:

  • As early as freshman year, make sure that your child’s IEP identifies her as college-bound so that the appropriate skills and strategies can be incorporated into her high-school curriculum.
  • Be vigilant about coordinating the measurable, sequential, and age-appropriate development of her transition
  • Teach your child to assess her learning needs independently and to describe and advocate for the accommodations that facilitate her learning.
  • To help students participate in college-level learning, make sure that modifications are gradually minimized throughout high school.
  • If learning strategies and skills such as time management and organization are not part of the curriculum, find external programs that can help your child develop these essential self-management tools.
  • If your child decides to take the SAT or ACT, make sure that appropriate accommodations have been authorized.
  • Confirm her readiness for college by ensuring that she can evaluate courses, plan long-range study time, and advocate for herself.
  • Make sure that your child remains actively involved in the school selection process. Trust her instincts and impressions. Remember that she will be on her own when she starts her college career.

If you do the groundwork, there is no reason to doubt your child’s readiness to attend college.

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