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College and Special Needs
Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults > College and Special Needs
my son who has had ADHD with major procrastination/motivation issues just withdrew from college after 3 weeks- not the right fit and not enough support- we are looking into U of A as we heard that the SALT program has good support services for kids with LD--any comments welcome as well as other suggestions for colleges that may be good for him. thanks! anon
I think that you should be a be able to talk with a LD counselor to find the right college? However, here's a list that I put together which might help: https://www.kifi.com/catmikk-work/ld-colleges
I am extremely sorry to hear that your son was forced to quit. It's hard on a kid to quit things and not be able to find some sort of ''win'' in a situation. There are some really good online programs that might (perhaps with a tutor?) be helpful. There's also an interesting Facebook group called California Homeschooling for College Credit that might be very interesting. It talks about how your child can take the CLEP test and can get 3 units at a cost of $80. So that means that he can study on his own for some of the classes. Apparently many homeschooling parents teach for both high school and college - it's similar.
You sound like a great parent. I have one of those also!
SALT has a long history in what it does (my husband was there in the early 1990s. My husband said it always drew students from out of state (at the time, mainly Chicago/NYC) and that for SALT students, it WAS the university to them - which is helpful at a large state school. I would think that you would want to check out the center out and see if it's a fit. Note that the SALT student base is probably very different from the mainstream UofA base, which is largely from Arizona. We looked at the website and were impressed that it has continued to expand its mission and seems to welcome visits.
As for the University area, it has become easier to get around without a car with the arrival of a light rail that goes from the U to downtown with student housing and businesses along it. The UofA area also has an active shopping/restaurant district. You should know that Tucson itself is a very spread out city, so it's challenging to travel outside the University area without a car. The heat is also something to consider, as high temperatures extend longer than just summer months and while most buildings are air conditioned, it is a big adjustment for those used to the Bay Area and makes it challenging if you depend on walking and/or transit.
Not sure what would work for your son, but one nice thing about Tucson is that it's a very low key and casual place. Because there are only 3 universities in the state, the student base is very broad and I think there is a niche for everybody. Good luck in your search. mm
In terms of campus life, my son had a great experience at UA and made many friends that he is still close with - many of them now live in the Bay area. UA is a big campus, but it was easy for him to make connections even though he knew no one there when he started as a freshman. The more conservative political climate in Arizona was an eye-opener for him, but Tucson itself is great and I loved visiting him while he was there.
Has anyone experience with invoking the ADA (Americans with Disability Act) for a college student for mental issues so the university will work with the student appropriately to obtain a medical leave of absence without triggering a re-admit process (UC)?
Some background: the student was experiencing academic stress due to problems managing a pre-existing sports injury (couldn't sleep due to pain) and was prescribed antidepressants by the health system. He had a serious reaction to the drugs. He's now off all the drugs they prescribed, but this resulted in some long-term mental issues (impaired concentration, emotional difficulty) and very poor school grades, so he left school to recover.
Now he's working full-time at a challenging job and rebuilding himself, but he's afraid the university will see his poor GPA and say ''Sorry Charlie''. He needs time to heal and would like a medical leave of 1 year. He's currently insured by his employer. What to do? Need Advice
Wondering if you are this student's parent, friend or what your relationship is. Generally the college will deal directly with a student if they are over 18, or with a parent if the student is under 18 or has signed a waiver for the parent to communicate with the school on the student's behalf. It is just part of privacy laws today.
In our experience working with one UC campus ''ADA'' was not needed for a medical leave. Qualifying for a disability under ADA is an involved process, each UC Campus does have a service department for ADA and as colleges go I think each school in the UC System does a pretty good job.
However having a one time incidence may or may not qualify as a ''disability'' and you may be overreaching.
If he needs a medical leave work with his Dean of Students office as soon as possible to find out his current status, and what are the steps to follow. Probably the longer he takes off the more process involved. We had no problems when our student took a one quarter leave and resumed.
How did the student leave University? Did he drop classes or just leave? There is a process to leave ''cleanly'' due to personal or medical emergency so that needs to be addressed. Again the Dean of Students is probably the best place to start. You will find the contact info on your school's website or his enrollment packett if you went to Orientation. The Dean of Student's secretary or administrative assistant will likely also be the first person you talk to. Be prepared to take some notes when you call to get the information down.
Also read the school's website since their leave policies, procedures and forms are most likely all online. Generally they will also ask for doctors' or therapists' letters to confirm the need for medical leave.
It may also be okay to take time off for employment, so if that is really what is going on, check the website. Many students take time off to work and return to school. I have known ''ten year'' students all my life, though it is not the easiest way to finish a degree, it works better for some.
Again you won't know the answer to these questions unless you refer to the school administration itself. This list can only provide anecdotes and even if a UC advisor were on this list I doubt they could comment specifically on a private student matter.
Good luck and think positive, most of the school administrators at the UC level I have worked with are very professional. Hope for the best
My 16 year old daughter is visually impaired and struggles with regular math and biology. Is there some college in CA that might be suited to him? I have heard of Hampshire and Evergreen but am wondering about some college in California that would be more affordable yet offering a different approach to education? Wondering Mom
My 17-year-old daughter, who was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, will be heading off to an East Coast college this fall. She now has trouble with small motor skills and with lifting/carrying heavy objects (she's lost upper body strength now that she no longer has full use of her hands). She also isn't supposed to use alcohol because the drugs she's on put a heavy load on her liver. We're figuring out day-to-day accommodations at home but I'm wondering what kinds of challenges she'll have to navigate when she's on her own at college. She won't be able to carry stacks of books from class to class, keys and light switches can be problematic, and I'm worried how the winter cold will affect her. If you are or have been in a similar situation (with a college-bound child with RA, lupus, MS, or any other chronic condition that affects energy and mobility) I'd really appreciate hearing from you.
My 19-year-old son came home from his second year of college to say that he experimented twice with Adderol, which made him feel ''normal'' and able to prioritize and focus -- for instance, able to outline and plan a paper, instead of panicky writing down multiple related thoughts, whatever came to mind, and trying to connect it up later. Now he wants to get officially diagnosed as ADHD for a mild prescription to improve his concentration. He's setting up the medical appointment. I'd just like to know if this sounds weird to others, and what I should do.
No professional ever previously said he should be tested for ADD or ADHD. His temperament is spontaneous and a little careless, though he can work hard. He's always been energetic, spirited, physical, verbal, easily bored (even bored with video games!), with a short attention span, but he did very well in HS and college. He loves people and has great guy friends, but has only short term girlfriends. He also smokes pot and drinks alcohol, I hope moderately (maybe an addictive personality-- maybe self-medicating-- maybe a typical frat boy). Any thoughts? Wondering mother
would love any feedback on appropriate(comfortable fit) colleges for my soon to be senior daughter. Her special needs relate to her ADD, OCD and resource support. She wants to stay in California and loves theater, but excels in math and science. We hope some type of mentoring program will help assist her academically and emotionally when she is nervous or sad far from home. She has liked UCLA, USC, Redlines and UCSB. However we live in Orinda and think sometyhing closer might be better. thanks very much! N.
Can anyone who has been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD as an adult give me some idea of what kind of professional you approached to arrive at the diagnosis? and what kind of help was recommemded? drugs, strategies, etc. I have checked all the web sites, heck I wrote one for my young child who has ADHD, inattentive type. I need help for a young adult now who just feels unable to concentrate for long periods of time and just feels she doesn't "get it" the way others do because she somehow misses key info. She skated through BHS, now college is proving a serious challenge and she sees the difference close-up (dorm living) between what she can do and what the other kids seem capable of.
My husband has been on medication since he was diagnosed and says they help him focus somewhat better (meds don't work for everyone). He also has seen a counselor, in conjunction with his medication. I think combining counseling and medication has the greatest impact on ADHD, or so I've read, but it is a personal decision the individual must be comfortable with.
As I understand ADHD, a consistent daily routine is the best approach for stabilizing the symptoms. Any change in lifestyle makes daily tasks more difficult. I'm guessing your friend is a freshman, which in itself is enough to make you feel like you "don't get it"! We also have a daughter in college (sophmore), so I know the experience can be very overwhelming. Please tell her she's not alone! If your friend would like to talk more, she's welcome to call or email me. Sue
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