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Windbourne College Consulting

Embracing Your Strengths: Navigating College with a Learning Disability or Neurodiversity

Embarking on the exciting journey of college while managing a learning disability or other neurodiversity may seem daunting at first. However, it's important to remember that college campuses are equipped with numerous resources and support systems to help you succeed. In this blog post, we will explore the steps you can take and the resources available to showcase your strengths and thrive during your college experience.

1. Disclosing Your Learning Disability: The First Step Towards Success

To ensure that you receive the support you need, it's essential to disclose your learning disability to the college's disability services office as early as possible. By doing so, you can work together to identify appropriate accommodations and tailored support services. This may include extra time on exams, note-taking assistance, or assistive technology. Remember, the goal is to create an inclusive environment where you can excel. 

It is important to note that the college does not follow an IEP for students.  This is a K-12 document that does not apply to colleges.   However, make sure you bring this documentation with you to your school’s office in order to show them the plan that has worked for you in the past. 

As soon as you finish reading this blog go to your college website and figure out how to make an appointment with the learning services office!

Tip: Take some time to research the accommodations that are generally approved in college and understand which ones might work best for you. Understood.org has gathered a great list of Types of College Accomodations and Services to get you started.

2. Utilizing On-Campus Support Services: Maximizing Your Potential

Colleges offer a wide range of on-campus resources designed to facilitate your academic journey. Take advantage of tutoring and academic coaching services, join study groups, and access counseling services. These services provide personalized assistance, helping you excel academically and build valuable skills for lifelong success.

3. Building Strong Relationships with Professors: Collaborating for Success

Establishing a positive working relationship with your professors can greatly contribute to your college experience. By sharing information about your learning disability and the accommodations you've been granted, you create an open line of communication. This allows your professors to understand your unique needs and provide the necessary support. It also showcases your determination and willingness to succeed.  You may need to remind your professors as you work together about your accommodations, but that is part of advocating for yourself and they won’t mind as long as you keep communication open.  

Tip: Check out your college's website and see if there is a resource for you about talking with your professors like this one from Bates College.

4. Self-Advocacy and Self-Awareness: Unlocking Your Potential

One of the most empowering steps you can take is prioritizing self-advocacy and self-awareness. Embrace your strengths and challenges, and proactively seek out the support you need. Don't hesitate to ask for help when necessary and be open to feedback from others. By understanding yourself better, you can navigate college with confidence, embracing your unique abilities.

5. Balancing Physical and Mental Well-being: A Key to Success

College life can be demanding, so it's crucial to prioritize your physical and mental health. Establish healthy habits such as getting enough sleep, engaging in regular exercise, and maintaining proper nutrition. Additionally, don't hesitate to seek counseling services when needed. Taking care of yourself holistically will enable you to thrive academically and personally.

College is an exciting chapter filled with endless possibilities, and having a learning disability or neurodiversity does not hinder your potential for success. By utilizing the resources available to you, embracing your strengths, and advocating for yourself, you can flourish in college. Remember, your unique perspective and talents are valuable assets that will contribute to your personal growth and academic achievements. So, embrace the journey, and let your brilliance shine!

We understand that navigating college with a learning disability or neurodiversity can feel overwhelming at times. At Windbourne College Consulting, we are dedicated to helping high school students with learning differences find the right college fit and maximize their potential for success.

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