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6 Ways Parents Can Help Their Child With Disabilities Prepare for the Transition to College

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

Although a student will assume responsibility for their education in college, parents and caregivers can play an important role in helping their child get ready for this shift in responsibility. Read below to learn 6 ways parents can help their child with disabilities prepare for the transition to college:

Help your child know their learning style and learning needs. Practice through role playing scenarios how your child would have a conversation with a Disability Office staff member about how their disability affects their learning.

  • Understand the difference between receiving accommodations for a disability in high school and receiving accommodations in college.

  • Encourage your student to ask for help in a variety of scenarios and understand that accepting help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

  • Remind your student that a visit to the Accessibility Center does not mean a commitment. Students can request accommodations each semester and it is the student's choice if they decide to use their accommodations or not.

  • Remind your student that in college you, as the parent, cannot be 'their voice.' They will need to speak up and communicate with the college and cannot rely on parents to be an 'in between'

  • Students will be in charge of their personal and medical care. Students should practice independent medication management during their senior year. Students will also be responsible for connecting and visiting with a campus mental health counselor and/or maintaining appointments with a therapist from home.

At the foundation of college success for all students, but particularly important for students with disabilities, is the understanding and acceptance of a student's disability and its impact on their learning as well as an understanding of how and when to ask for help - and the realization that the responsibility for these two skills must fall on the student.

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