How to Prepare Disabled Children for University

Posted on: 26 January 2018

The transition from high school to college/university can be difficult for students with various forms of disability in case those learners weren't prepared well for life after high school. This article discusses some measures that families can take to make the transition minimally disruptive to the education and well-being of the student.

Impart Time Management Skills

High school life is often heavily structured so that learners can participate in the different activities that are a hallmark of this level of education. However, life in college is less structured. For instance, several sports activities can take place while some students are in a lecture theatre. Students with disabilities need to be helped to develop the skill of managing their time well so that they avoid situations that can lead them to overexert themselves when essential activities, such as classes, are still expected during their day or week.

Research Support Options

You should also consider conducting extensive research about the different forms of disability support offered by the colleges or universities in your area. For instance, one college may offer an individualised education programme for students with learning disabilities while another college may not provide such support. Identify and apply to the universities that give the kind of support that would be most helpful to your child or family member.

Understand the Disability Well

It is helpful to gather as much information about a disability as possible. For example, what triggers cause an exacerbation of the autistic tendencies in your child? How can the living environment be structured to limit the challenges faced by the disabled student? Involve the disabled student in this quest for accurate information about the condition so that they will be able to use such information when living independently while at the university.

Be Proactive

Students with disability should be encouraged to be proactive in seeking for assistance wherever they are. This habit should be developed long before they are scheduled to join the university. Such a proactive approach will make it possible for the student to seek for support when at a university. Universities are often under no obligation to seek out students with disabilities to support them. Self-identification can, therefore, make life easier for the student.

Keep in touch with your disabled family member when they join university so that you can keep track of how well that individual is adjusting to the new life. Contact disability support organisations for help in case any additional help is needed for a particular challenge that the student is facing.



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