I am in the unique and very grateful position to both help students with disabilities on a consistent basis and also provide the students and others with application support in order to get into the college of their choice. In today’s Feel Good Friday post, I want to tell you a story about someone I’ve worked with for several years, who last year received the good news that she was admitted to college. Alayna is a student who is on the autism spectrum. We hear a lot about boys with autism, but when I first met Alayna, she felt alone and powerless with autism. Throughout our time together we created an educational map, powerful lifestyle changes and help for the entire family.
During her junior year, Lena made the honor roll and was thriving. Unfortunately, due to inappropriate accommodations earlier in her schooling, she felt that she may not be admitted to the college of her choice. We begin working on devising a plan for which college would best suit her and how she could thrive as a member of the community. She committed herself to her studies and began volunteering, through joining and leading groups with other children on the autism spectrum.
When she received her acceptance to a university that I often recommend for students with disabilities, Alayna was ecstatic. Frankly, so I was I, because I knew her hard work, her narrowly tailored accommodations and love of learning would be extended through her university studies.
It has been a year since Alayna received this wonderful letter and I am happy to report she is thriving in her new university. We were able to meet with the head of Disability Services. During this meeting, which I suggest all parents and counselors of students with disabilities do before college entrance, we were able to negotiate appropriate accommodations and establish a very good and trusting working relationship.
During the first week of school, we put a system in order for a Lena to thrive. Although it did require some tweaking, she is now more independent than ever. It was not the acceptance to college that was the true success — that was just the beginning. Seeing someone embrace and thrive because of inspirational dreams and having correct support certainly makes me feel good this Friday.
As you receive acceptances, we will begin discussing how to establish a rapport with different offices of your new university, whether you have a disability or not, so you can, like Alayna, focus on learning and fun and not fighting about or suffering with inappropriate accommodations.
If you need support, please contact us with any questions. We love making this especially difficult transition smooth for both parent and student.