For individuals with learning differences, realizing academic success can be difficult. These learning differences may include:
- Learning Disabilities (LD's)
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Executive Functioning Deficiencies
- Tourette Syndrome (TS)
- Disorders on the Autism Spectrum (ASD)
Individuals may display signs of these and other related disorders by falling behind academically in school, displaying disruptive behavior, having difficulty socializing with others, or exhibiting an inability to deal with anxiety or stress.
Testing by experienced and credentialed professionals is generally done through a public school system or through independent means. Access to support services and accommodations are traditionally found under 504 and Individual Educational Plans (IEP's) designations.
This process can be frustrating for families. There simply is no one-size-fits-all approach to diagnosing and treating individuals with learning differences. We have experience working with individuals who struggle with LD's, ADD/ADHD and other related disorders through advocacy and support by offering:
- Consultations and regular support services
- Referrals for testing
- Assistance in analyzing test results (neuropsychological evaluations), etc.
- Assistance with the 504 and IEP (from initial inquiry through designation)
- Placement assistance/referrals for therapy (when necessary)
School and College Placement
Historically, few schools and colleges have supported students with learning differences. Those that have generally specialized in working with individuals with severe learning disabilities such as dyslexia and other related disorders. Often, the focus was centered on the development of coping and life skills in preparation for the work place.
In the past decade, however, many K-12 schools (including traditional boarding, independent, parochial and charter) have re-purposed their missions to offer support programs for students who learn differently. Many offer college preparatory programs now coupled with support for individuals with mild to moderate disabilities. Colleges and university systems have followed this same trend, often at an additional cost, some small colleges offering these services to as many as one quarter of their student population.
We offer the following in terms of placement assistance for individuals with learning differences at the K-12 and College/University levels:
- Initial meeting with student and parent(s)
- A thorough review of a student's academic and personal background
- Recommendations for summer study/work/extra-curricular activities
- Financial aid/scholarship recommendations/referrals
- School list and time line action plan
- Standardized test recommendations/referrals/test preparation programs
- Assessments of 504 and IEP guidelines (when applicable)
- Communication with College or University support personnel (campus disability coordinators, support program staffs, etc.)
- Evaluation of "right-fit" support programs (when applicable)
- Mentoring of admissions essays and applications
- Interview preparation strategies
- Best fit recommendations for acceptances/wait lists, and deferrals
- Transitional advocacy during first year and beyond
- Consistent and open lines of communication between you and our staff
- Access to us via face-to-face meetings either at our location or your home
- Communication via face-to-face meetings, telephone, email, or Skype sessions
A Family's Experience with the College Search Process
Check out my latest article Learning Disabilities and College Admissions - The Price of Anonymity on students with learning disabilities and college placement. While the article largely centers on post-secondary placement, it highlights an SLD's progression through K-12 and beyond.