It is important to understand the differences in the college and the K-12 educational systems

Parents of teens with medical and intellectual differences, who are looking at college as a possibility, need to understand the difference in their child’s rights and responsibilities as a college student.  In the United States, college is not a guaranteed right.  IDEA no longer applies.

In college, the wall blocking your child’s path may or may not be removed. The paths in college do not have to be equal; only accessible in some way. 

Students with motoric and intellectual disabilities can attend college.  For students with motoric challenges, it may mean redefining how they access the campus.  An example would be purchasing a motorized scooter to help a young adult, with an exhausting gait pattern, gain access to all classrooms on a campus.  When intellectual disabilities are present the enrollment is often an agreement or a negotiated compromise between the student and the college.  As more and more students, with learning challenges, are taking the college path, more and more universities are opening up educational options.  Research and open communication is key.

Think College is the best most comprehensive site, I have found, to help young adults and their parents understand the difference between the K-12 educational system and the college systems. This site also has a link to compare the services different colleges offer.

To learn about the differences in k-12 and college programs, click here  http://www.thinkcollege.net/topics/highschool-college-differences

To compare information about college programs for students with intellectual disabilities, click here http://www.thinkcollege.net/?Itemid=127

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