Life Success for Children with Learning Disabilities
Over twenty years of research has identified factors that predict successful outcomes for children with disabilities. This research identified these individual characteristics and life experiences that lead to successful life outcomes:
- goal setting
- emotional coping strategies
- support systems
Life Success for Children with Learning Disabilities: A Parent Guide highlights the findings of this research in an easy to read booklet. We strongly encourage you to read this information and share it with your child.
After High School: Different Paths to Success provides information on the many paths students may take post-secondary.
College Entrance Exams
College Board Exams include the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and AP Exams. Accommodations are available for students with disabilities that meet eligibility requirements. However, it is important to remember that receiving school accommodations does not guarantee College Board approval of a request. Detailed information can be found at the College Board SSD website.
Typical accommodation include:
- Extended time
- Computer use for essay
- Extra and extended breaks
- Reading and seeing accommodations
- Four-function calculator
Other accommodation is also available.
The accommodation request process can take up to seven weeks, so we recommend applying early in your child’s ninth grade. Accommodation approval requires extensive documentation, and unfortunately our dyslexia assessment will not likely meet guidelines. Learning disability documentation guidelines require:
- Diagnosis clearly stated;
- Current information (less than 5 years);
- History presented;
- Diagnosis supported by:
- Summary of testing procedures,
- narrative summary,
- test scores,
- comprehensive cognitive and achievement battery.
The general education dyslexia assessment does not include a comprehensive cognitive battery. If your child is eligible for special education or you have obtained additional assessment outside of the school district, your testing may contain the required information.
There are two processes to request accommodation, (1) School Verification and (2) Parent Paper Verification. Regardless of which process you choose, contact your high school counselor to initiate the process.
School verification process:
1. Students/ parents register for testing online with ACT or the College Board. The student/parent selects "accommodations needed" during the registration process;
2. Student/parent emails the accommodated registration to the Assistant Principal for Student Advancement, Charlotte Leon. Students and parents also need to send a copy of their signed consent to release information forms (these forms can be found online at ACT or the College Board);
3. The Assistant Principal completes an online accommodation request for form to ACT or the College Board documenting the student's eligibility for the accommodation. The accommodation has been in place for more than four months and the student currently uses the accommodation(s) at school; 4. The school will submit available documentation for review to the ACT or the College Board.
5. If approved, students will receive a TAA or SSD number to use when registering for a test.
6. Accommodations remain in effect through one year after graduation from high school.
Parent Paper Request:
This process again begins by registering for the ACT or SAT and selecting "accommodations needed", then submitting a consent form to the Assistant Principal for Student Advancement.
If your request was denied, you can find information on how to proceed here.
If you are interested in SAT preparation, Khan Academy offers free online preparation: SAT prep from Khan Academy.
ACT tests are another type of college entrance exam. Like the SATs, certain accommodations are available for students who meet eligibility criteria. Detailed information can be obtained at ACT's Services for Students with Disabilities page. Unlike the SAT process, students must register for ACT prior to requesting accommodation. The student will then be able to print an application for accommodation.
There are three types of ACT accommodation available:
1. National Standard Time with Accommodations
2. National Extended Time (50% additional time)
3. Special testing at school (more than time and a half or special test presentation such as oral administration)
College Services for Students with Dyslexia
There is no reason a student with dyslexia shouldn't pursue college if he or she chooses to do so. Before deciding which school is best for him or her, students should investigate the services that are available at perspective colleges. While all colleges must provide some level of service to students with disabilities, the level of service varies greatly. Most colleges provide one of three levels of service:
- Basic accommodations such as note-taking assistance and extra time on tests;
- Specialized services, which include staff who work with students and professors;
- Specialized colleges have comprehensive programs for students with disabilities (often for a fee).
The K&W Guide to College Programs and Services for Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD (Princeton Review) is a thorough listing of colleges and the support available to students. It is available through Amazon, or possibly your school or local library.
Information on applying for and selecting a college for your child with a disability can be found at these sites:
Selecting a College for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit
Hard Decision for the Learning Disabled
Examples of disability services at Texas universities and colleges can be found below:
Texas A&M Disability Services
University of Texas Services for Students with Disabilities
San Jacinto College
Section 504 and College
In the PreK through 12 grades school setting, Subpart D of Section 504 Regulations apply. However, once a student graduates and enrolls in college, Subpart E applies. Modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements, substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted.
In most cases, the screening instruments often used for developing a “504” plan are insufficient as documentation for college accommodations. Additional testing is likely to be required. In addition, the student goes from an environment that is structured to “ensure student success” to one that is designed to “allow equal access.” The success of the student is up to the student in the college setting. The college must ensure access, NOT success.
Differences Between High School and College for Students with Disabilities
ADA Q&A: Section 504 and Post-Secondary Education
Student with Disabilities Preparing for Post-Secondary Education (OCR)
Dyslexia and the Military
Some students may be more interested in joining the military rather than going to college. Here is information that may be helpful.
Exploring Military Options for Students with Disabilities
Will Dyslexia Exclude Someone from Joining the Military?
ADHD and the Military
Dyslexia and the Workforce
For students who choose to go straight into the workforce from school, they may be eligible for reasonable accommodation in some situations.
Transition: School to Work
Job Accommodations for People with Learning Disabilities
15 CEOs with Learning Disabilities