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amathis229

Finishing up with senior's college apps...thinking (okay stressing) about college for my dyslexic

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Having read through the thread over on the College Board regarding average children and college, I've seen where many members have children with varying academic strengths and weaknesses. I started following this forum in the fall as my ds was applying to colleges. Wish I had started following years ago - it definitely would have affected some decisions we made. With that said, I am trying to wrap my mind around how to apply "lessons learned" to my profoundly dyslexic dd (9th grader, has a current assessment from an educational psychologist). It's going to be a whole different ball of wax with her. 

 

1) More focus on ACT prep to get that 1-2 point bump

Problem: Dd would have to have the test read to her. At this point, I don't believe she would have the endurance to sit through 6 hours (I'm guessing here) of oral testing. I'm looking at test-optional schools for her, but the best financial deal for would be for her to go in-state/public (Georgia).

 

2) Satisfy at least one unit from each category of the University System of Georgia requirements through accredited options: DE, AP

4 Carnegie units of college preparatory English

4 Carnegie units of college preparatory mathematics

4 Carnegie units of college preparatory science

3 Carnegie units of college preparatory social science

2 Carnegie units of the same foreign language 

OR 

2 units of American Sign Language OR 

2 units of computer science3

Problem: So far, ds has gotten into every school he's applied to, but they all have been in more homeschool-friendly states. He did get into a smaller Georgia school with a high admit rate, but we are waiting to hear how the flagships play out. I feel like admittance as a homeschooler for him has been based on strong ACT scores and some accredited, economical state-funded DE and AP coursework.This plan won't work for ds unless I can get her enrolled in our local tech school's DE program. 

 

3) Look hard at smaller, private LACs

Problem: Cost! I'm seeing there is lots of money out there for high achievers, but that's not going to be dd. Definitely will consider spending the money for her, but I would love to be able to send her in-state. Dd and I recently attended the International Dyslexia Association's Annual Conference and met with a rep from Landmark College in Vermont for students with Learning Disabilities. I would love for dd to do a bridge year there, but it costs $75,000 a year! Beacon College in Florida is less expensive but still a lot (@ $45,000?).

 

4) Consider other curricula choices

Problem: We have been doing Classical Conversations since 2011; a variety of curricula prior to that. I'm sure there are some more suitable choices for my dd, but meeting weekly with her peer group has done a lot to motivate this low-energy kid! She has to have an option that has built-in accountability. Due to years of struggling through interventions and tutoring for her dyslexia, we are about OVER each other! Add in perimenopausal years for me and adolescent years for her...I often wonder how we'll make it through high school!I've been reading through the curricula choices many of you list in your signature. Looks like some amazing choices out there.Considering problem #2, I'm thinking some accredited coursework might be of benefit if applying to state schools in Georgia.

 

5) Finding a school that fits your student's parameters

Problem: Parameters include a) smaller student body size b) excellent LD support c) majors related to students current strengths (costume design, fashion design, theater make-up design) but with enough options to allow for exploration of other careers d) in-state if possible but will consider private school if we can swing it e) test optional f) homeschool-friendly

 

Having posted this on the College Board, I have already received some encouraging, constructive, kind comments. Thank you in advance for any advice that you can share!

 

Cheers!

April

 

 
 

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Your psych report says her accommodations.

 

Do career testing. She probably has strengths she doesn't realize that will appear with time and experiences.

 

Not so much DE. Unnecessary and dangerous. If she's not ready you'll tank her GPA.

 

It's most important that SHE learn to use her tools, self-advocate, and ask for accommodations.

 

Let her find where she wants to go. It will keep her out of trouble. 😠Teach her flower decorating or photography. Your time together is short.

 

Some people do test prep but just doing the practice tests a few times will usually bump your scores. Untreated ADHD will crap her scores.

 

Deep breath. It will come together.

Edited by PeterPan
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Your psych report says her accommodations.

 

Do career testing. She probably has strengths she doesn't realize that will appear with time and experiences.

 

Not so much DE. Unnecessary and dangerous. If she's not ready you'll tank her GPA.

 

It's most important that SHE learn to use her tools, self-advocate, and ask for accommodations.

 

Let her find where she wants to go. It will keep her out of trouble. 😠Teach her flower decorating or photography. Your time together is short.

 

Some people do test prep but just doing the practice tests a few times will usually bump your scores. Untreated ADHD will crap her scores.

 

Deep breath. It will come together.

 

Career testing would be great! Do you have any recommended resources? I am not sure where to turn for this.

 

We are working on the self-advocating. I feel like she picked up some good tools at the International Dyslexia Ass. Annual Meeting this year and got to listen to other dyslexics talk about advocating for themselves.

 

I do need to let her explore her own path more. I tend to get hyperfocused on end results and rush through the journey. 

 

Untreated ADHD - ADHD was in her first report as a 6 year old but not in her latest assessment (in the spring). I will email her pshycologist and see what she thinks. Dd was on meds for a short period when she was 7-8 years old. I felt like it helped with her focus but not neccessarily with the assimilation of information. Could be worth re-visiting at least. 

 

Deep breath...I need to read this over and over again!

 

Thank you!

April

 
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Untreated ADHD - ADHD was in her first report as a 6 year old but not in her latest assessment (in the spring). I will email her pshycologist and see what she thinks. Dd was on meds for a short period when she was 7-8 years old. I felt like it helped with her focus but not neccessarily with the assimilation of information. Could be worth re-visiting at least. 

 

ADHD doesn't usually go away, and is very frequently co-morbid with dyslexia. If you were seeing increased focus, you will probably see less fatigue with meds. Having to work hard at focusing increases fatigue. Assimilating information is an indirect thing--memory, processing, etc. are working together for that. Any drain on the system to focus does eventually cause a drain on some kind of memory. Sometimes it's more of a trade-off--functional in one area and crash and burn in another. Or, you don't realize how much you are scaffolding to get the same results you would get with meds. Sometimes meds help with focus so that you can scaffold a different area. 

 

Her workload is so much different than it was when she was 7-8. You might be surprised at what happens with meds or a closer look at her needs in that regard.

 

A lot of ADHD symptoms are self- or parent-reported, and it's very easy to miss subtle signs that you don't realize are actually ADHD (happens all the time, including when two sibs have drastically different ADHD presentations). Before talking to the psych, you might do some updated reading on subtle presentations in people who are able to compensate highly. A level of functionality that hides subtle ADHD always comes with a cost--it's like having water pressure that is too high. It eventually makes for leaky pipes and lots of wear and tear on the plumbing, but it seems just fine to keep using your nicely pressurized supply of water.

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My dd did the Strong's Interest Inventory through the university where she was DE. There are shorter tests online but something longer can be really valuable. Some psychs do it but it's free to students if you DE.

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I recommend that you read The Dyslexic Advantage by Brock and Fernette Eide.  The last portion of the book is filled with interviews of successful dyslexics.

 

You cannot judge your 9th grader now and expect them to be the same as a 12th grader.  My son has matured significantly since 9th grade and is successfully completing coursework that no one anticipated.  

 

For EF work, DS worked with a CBT for a year.  He uses audio books and types his work.  He has been accepted to every university that he has applied for and been awarded scholarship plus in-state tuition to unis in MS and TN.  We are visiting TN late next week. He took one year of Spanish, Alg 1A and 1B, geometry, and is currently enrolled in Alg 2. DS has completed bio, chem, physical science, and physics with alg.  The unis have accepted him based on transcripts and ACT scores. 

 

ACT was given with the time accommodation.  Ironically, my dyslexic's highest ACT subtest is reading comprehension.  He took one test prep class and his scores jumped way more than 1-2 points.  Honestly, ACT should not be the focus.  The focus should be on functionality and using accommodations.  I would prefer that my DS stay local for school because I am not convinced that EF is good enough.  The local CC offers free classes called Bridge Classes which support students with writing and math.

 

Have you looked at SCAD?  One of my very good friends graduated from there and runs her own textile business at the local art co-op.

Edited by Heathermomster
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 Do you have community colleges in your area?  In our area, a CC would meet your requirements except for small size (though at least it's a lot smaller than state uni is)--and niches such as theater within a CC could give a smaller size feeling for her actual experience.  2 years of CC could give an Associates, and then lead into Uni if she wants/can do that.  Or maybe try for a school of fashion and design sort of place.

 

For language, ASL might be good choice for her.

 

A Tech DE program sounds great!  I wish we had one as an option.

 

Outsourcing classes either from home, or by sending her to a school might help the mother-child / teacher-student issues.  My ds has gone to BMS, and there are still issues over his not wanting to do academics and so forth, but it is not all on me anymore.  I only have the parent hat, not the teacher hat too.

 

Volunteering at theaters or similar so as to get experience in her area of interest as a major part of her schooling, plus focus on the basics of academics needed for CC and for her life might be another way to go instead of focus on those Georgia state uni requirements.  If she is really good at design area, maybe a portfolio would get her into places (and maybe with scholarship help) as a high achiever that way, rather than based on academic grades and ACTs.  

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