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Entering college can be both an exciting and stressful time for young adults. For students with a disability, this transition can be even more difficult as they explore how their strengths and challenges play out in the new setting: fitting in socially, dealing with a roommate, organizing and scheduling the day/week/semester, being more independent, preparing for lectures, taking notes, keeping up with the readings, writing larger more complex papers, taking exams. Students will also need to develop higher level self-advocacy skills as they work with the College’s Disability Services and their instructors around reasonable accommodations.
Some Disability Services Offices provide counseling and support around these transitional concerns, others provide only reasonable accommodation like extended time on exams and use of a computer for essays. I offer extra support during this transition with a focus on exploring the student’s experiences and perspectives. The goal is to help the young adult meet the new challenges with self-awareness and a growing confidence based on internalized skills and incremental successes. Social skills, self-monitoring skills like time management, a hefty academic toolbox of study strategies, as well as self-advocacy skills to negotiate for appropriate accommodations under the law are all important for successful academic performance and a healthy social life.
Dr. John Body 413-584-4781