College Students With Learning Disabilities - Critical Survival Skills

Are you a freshman college student with a learning disability? If so, you probably find yourself in need of a new, reliable support system. The general rule is that students with learning disabilities in college need approximately twice the support they received in high school.

In her 1991 study, Dr. Joan M. McGuire, Associate Director of the Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability at the University of Connecticut, reports that many college-bound students with learning disabilities fail to understand the demands that they are about to encounter in the postsecondary setting. Thus, they end up overwhelmed by the quantity of material and speed of instruction. Likewise, many college students with LD lack the skills and strategies that are important for managing and monitoring learning in various milieus. In order to survive and succeed in college, students must have a well-devised plan which includes an arsenal of skills and strategies, ready to use at a moment's notice.

Far too many students with learning disabilities think that that if they are interested in college and motivated to learn, they will succeed. Unfortunately, interest and motivation are not enough. According to Robert A. Carman and W. Royce Adams, authors of Study Skills, A Student's Guide to Survival (1984, 2nd edition), without proper training, a student cannot expect to succeed in college. Thousands of students in this cohort, however, actually think they can navigate college successfully despite their lack of basic skills in like reading, writing, and math.

Choosing appropriate courses and enrolling for classes can be thorns in the side of any student, but they are far more so for students with learning disorders.