Practical Access Podcast

S5 E3: Preparing Students with Disabilities for College

June 15, 2021 Season 5 Episode 3
Practical Access Podcast
S5 E3: Preparing Students with Disabilities for College
Show Notes Transcript

In today's episode, Dr. Lisa Dieker shares an article titled Students with LD at Postsecondary: Supporting Success and the Role of Student Characteristics and Integration. Tune in to today's episode to hear tips and ideas from Drs. Rebecca Hines and Lisa Dieker.

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Link to Article:

Season 5; Episode 3

Lisa Dieker 00:01
Welcome to practical access I'm Lisa Dieker.

Rebecca Hines 00:03
And I'm Rebecca Hines and today Lisa I understand you're again dragging us into academia, with some research-based readings for some light summer fun, what do we have Lisa.

Lisa Dieker 00:19
Oh, so I guess the summer fun is: think about college, you know lots of families, right now, are like thinking does my kid go to college? When do they go to college? Are they ready for college? I think you might be going through that yourself. And there's always kind of that discussion, are they ready, are they mature? And so I was reading an article from some of our friends, out of Canada and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice So yes, it is a nerdling moment, and it's about students with learning disabilities at post-secondary and they did a study and looked at students with and without learning disabilities and I just found it fascinating that there wasn't a huge amount of difference, but there really was this kind of need for both social, shocking, and academic kinds of thinking and this really persistence to not give up as kind of a theme that kept coming out of it. And I kept laughing and going, oh, I wonder if that's kids with LD or just every kid in America and that's you know that's one of the things. So I'm just curious you've got twins going to college. They're night and day difference. I just finished up with somebody in college. What's your advice for people, especially people that might have kids with some struggling disabilities about getting ready for college and then also a little more nerdling stuff and sort of.

Rebecca Hines 01:38
Well, I mean the thing I liked about this article, I did like this idea of looking at different inputs and you know different things to consider and when it, when it, whether it's a student with LD or any other need. I feel like from, from experience, you know as a faculty member, I feel like that term that we come up to all the time, which is self-advocacy. I feel like the first critical thing is to make sure that your child can advocate for him or herself and that you know that idea of self-advocacy Lisa that goes across, you know, that goes across settings in higher education because you need to be able to self-advocate, advocate for yourself socially also. If everybody else wants to go into a party and everybody else wants to go do something, and that you don't have a driver, you know who's going to bring you back, advocate for yourself. You know say no, I actually know that's not a good idea I'm not going to do that, I feel like we need to do xyz let's make arrangements. You know, and I think that I think, for me, and especially since you know my kids are going away for school yeah I need them to be decision-makers I need them to advocate for their needs whether it's social needs, whether it is academic needs, no matter what it is. And for a student with a learning disability and, especially because many kids with LD aren't, you know, kids get to college they don't realize they're the ones who have to let people know what they need for supports academically. So if they don't have a voice and the confidence to share 'hey I need extended time on this test' 'hey I'm going to go register with disability services,' and I know we've talked about that, before, but it's definitely this summer talking to kids about advocating for themselves is step one.

Lisa Dieker 03:39
Yeah and you know it's funny cause as I listen to you there's a little Glasser, if you didn't listen to the previous one you might want to go back to choice theory which I know again has kind of been in the foundation of your great parenting and you have great kids, but as I think about this, you know, sometimes people will ask me and so I'm just going to give my opinion it's a podcast that this is not a research-based this is a Lisa Dieker statement. But people will say 'oh my son has a learning disability, he's 18 and he wants to go to college' and I usually say don't. And I know that sounds really silly but sometimes I say you know what maybe a gap year, maybe a community college, maybe take two classes before you send them away and spend 10 to 20 to 30 to 60 to $80,000 and realize they weren't ready because I think that's what else this article says is that if you have the academic ability and the drive, no offense, sometimes young boys don't have the same drive maybe as young girls, and I know that's an overgeneralization, but I think if you look at GPAs like we do all the time. I would today, I've had more nonattending younger males than I have females and a lack of follow up, and that's just what we know is developmentally, that's why car insurance costs more for boys when they're younger because they're still not the best decision-makers. And so I think about that social and academic, just because you have a boy academically ready maybe they're not socially ready. Maybe you have a girl who's socially ready, but maybe they're not academically ready it's that mix, I think. But here's what I love, and so this is something for those of you with really young kids, so I'm going to be nerdy here a minute, is they did find one of the, one of the overarching variables is the drive to achieve and they talked about this kid's getting that from sports, being in clubs, having chores, having jobs early, and learning to not give up. What do we do to many of our kids with disabilities? We swoop in and save them. You know, I don't want to kid to get hurt but letting them fall down six times and pick themselves up and whatever they're doing whether it's academic I think was really a cross-cutting piece here. And then the last piece I'll share here in the, in the on the nerdling side is really a conclusion what there wasn't as much difference, but as Becky said it was about the support and you know if you aren't familiar with learning disabilities association of America,, or We Are Big Lovers, or again if you have a child that maybe couldn't go traditional path to college Think College has some amazing resources and so again just because somebody is 18 I'm a Community college girl, I really wasn't ready. I really went to such a small school that I didn't probably have the academic rigor to be highly successful. Two years of community college and I walked through the door and did really, really well, but again I think we often think 'oh well, because you're 18 it's magical maybe it's not magic that, that works it's, it's that mixture that I love in this.

Rebecca Hines 06:33
Oh, and I was thinking too when you were you know when you asked me, the first time self-advocacy but I was also thinking maturation. You know you really have to know your kids and you really have to know it is a lot it's a lot to manage because some kids have grown up where they didn't manage a lot of their own life. So I think we have to kind of look at the whole, the whole picture and we don't, the one thing we don't want to do is set kids up to fail. You know, but, as you said, we also don't want to over support and it's, it's always such a fine line. I recently actually literally just yesterday was talking to a friend of mine's son, who is going into his final year of college and he had some you know in school, he, he definitely was someone who needed some support on some academic tasks, but he's, you know, done fine at a four-year institution, but you know he's, he's going to take his last year online because he's kind of into the groove of it now, but he doesn't feel like he's learned and is learning. So I think, I think the other thing is, you know, I said, 'why are you taking these classes online it's so much more fun to go and be a part of things in person isn't it?' And he said yeah but why am I going to go sit in there when I can just do what everybody else does, which is just look everything up on my computer, look up all the answers on my computer, you know, so I think there's another piece of this Lisa I think it's preparing kids, you know, for how to go and not only be successful but to make themselves a part of the setting, you know, and help them to think differently about learning because they might have had the learning stomped out of them so far, you know that love of learning. And you mentioned achievement, you know, in this drive to achieve that's not the same as competition, you don't have to be a competitive person. You have to be internally motivated to want to do your best and to be proud of what your best looks like, so I think that's kind of the combination for parents is get, you know, really talking through with each other, what are you good at? What are you not good at? What are we going to do? How are you going to support yourself for that? You know, online, face to face what's this gonna look like? and almost giving kids some, some realistic expectations going into college, and, and then stepping away and that's the hard part.

Lisa Dieker 08:59
That's the hard part yeah and, and yet for about an hour, you say what will I do with this free time and then an hour later you're like oh, I might do like read a book or read that's why I can read so many articles now. You know, and I'll just add one quick laugh moment here is, you know I heard an employer once say look I'll hire the person with the highest degree, even if they're not the best person because they persevered to get the highest degree.

Rebecca Hines 09:24

Lisa Dieker 09:25
And I thought isn't that interesting, and so I think sometimes people belittle oh, you know what's college bring, well it brings perseverance and the drive to not give up because I don't know about you, but I had a couple of college classes that I'd like to have not persevered in, but that was the only pathway to get where I wanted to go. And so do remember parents if you're really on the fence, do know that two years of college ups the future of your child's income. Four years, even more, and again, it isn't always about picking the right major it's about showing I can persevere to get that degree so that then I can enter different job markets. Because lots of jobs want to train you, they don't want you to have a degree in what they want, because I once heard an employer say 'nothing worse than a kid who has a degree in blank area and I hire them because they think they know what they're supposed to do, I want to train them up, but I want to see that person here' so. Well, hopefully, that wasn't too nerdling for you, thank you for persevering with me on a topic of choice and we look forward to having you share with us on our Facebook or send us a tweet @AccessPractical.