Colleges for Kids with LD and Special Needs
Archived Q&A and Reviews
- Transferring to a CSU from community college - help for disabled student?
- Suitable college for visually-impaired daughter
- Comfortable college for daughter with OCD & ADD
My son is thinking of attending community college and then transferring to CSU East Bay. I'd like to hear your experience if your son or daughter has done that. Was it difficult to do so? Also, I've heard that there is a disabled students' program at CSUEB that helps with the transfer/application process. Has anyone had any experience with that program and know how to contact the program director? Mom of a Senior
My daughter is finishing up at Diablo Valley College and has applied to Cal State East Bay for fall admission. She worked with the disabled services division at DVC without much success. However, the Cal State East Bay contact person is very helpful! His name is Brian Johnson, Accessibility Counselor, at 510-885-3868, and email is brian.johnson [at] csueastbay.edu He works Mon-Thursday, 8am-4:30 pm. He will advocate on behalf of your son for admission to Cal State East Bay. He quickly emails and returns calls to my daughter when she has questions about the transfer process. DC
Our son graduated from CSUEB in June, 2013. His three-year educational experience there was wonderful.
Depending on your son's level of functioning, there are different tiers of support for students with diabilities.
Our son is sufficiently high functioning that he was primarily able to navigate the academic and administrative bureaucracies on his own, without much help from either the accessibility office or his formerly helicopter mom.
Early in the enrollment process, we went to the accessibility office to meet with a counselor. Ours, Brian Johnson, determined what accommodations our son was eligible for - increased time on exams, note-taking service - and set up the computer system to handle them.
After this initial meeting, I never again met with Brian face-to- face, but throughout our son's time at CSUEB, Brian was the go- to guy on the rare occasions when we encountered a bump in the road.
We had two difficulties: On one occasion, a professor was obtuse and our son knew that he would not be able to get an A in the class. This guy thought he was being nice by offering a ''gentleman's C''. Our son had to advise him that he needed to keep up his GPA in order to go to graduate school. Brian helped with the mechanics of dropping the class.
The second problem was supposedly resolved several years ago, yet we did encounter a recurrence. For students with disabilities whose tuition at CSU is paid by the state Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), it is often the battle of the bureaucracies. In the old days, if DOR was late in sending the fee voucher at the beginning of the term, the CSU computer system would drop the student from all her/his classes due to unpaid fees. This was corrected by flagging the enrollment files of the DOR eligible students. But when our son was a senior, the DOR got a new computer system that was not recognized by the CSU system, so I had to scramble to fix the problem.
For students needing a greater degree of support, there is Project IMPACT, that provides a comprehensive program for students on the autism spectrum. They had a 5 year grant; not sure whether it is being renewed.
Other supports include formal programs that introduce students to each other for group study sessions. This gets great reviews, although our son did not participate.
The strongest factor correlated with success by students with disabilities is their ability to self-advocate. IF your son is able to pro-actively, regularly attend the office hours of each of this professors, it will be tremendously enriching.
The faculty at CSU, in our experience, were 99.999% absolutely wonderful, and I would certainly recommend the school to others.
Good luck! Amelia
I just attended the annual Alameda County post-secondary Transition Fair for disabled students on Mar. 15 and now have the current service guide. It looks as if Alamdeda CC has a very attuned special ed./disabled student dept.
(A former student of mine is having a difficult time at Laney even though they do have a special ed/disabled student division.)
Start by checking in with East Bay Special Education Center (SELPA) through Alameda County.
Be aware that there is a HUGE shift for special ed students after graduating HS. Public Schools are REQUIRED to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) until a student graduates from high school. After that, special ed services are ''available'' not required. It is all up to the student/family to find those appropriate services and for the student to gain skills in self-advocacy.
DREDF can help you for little or no cost with rights and resources. Best of luck, Belinda
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
I wouldn't discount Hampshire. My son goes there and loves it. He received significant financial aid so it costs less than the UC's for us. He also has a physical disability and learning disabilities and, although it is not an easy school and he works very hard there, he has received the support he needs there as long as he asks for it. UCSC seems to be the closest match in California, at least for what areas my son was interested in. chiliconmom
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 something closer might be better. thanks very much! N.
Hi, The schools you mention are all really large schools. I would think your daughter would do much better in a smaller more intimate setting where she would have small classes and have a good one-on-one time with her teachers. For that, I think you are looking at private schools... Check out all the privates in the area. Her school counselor should be able to recommend some to you. If you are thinking as far as the LA area, consider Whittier. Or in the other direction, even though it's not in CA it's about as far on the plane, Lewis and Clark in Portland. Depending on your income level, all schools give financial aid and the privates have more grants and scholarships to give in this day and age!! good luck. anon
I work at UC Berkeley and we have a pretty good Disabled Students Program for students with emotional problems like ADD and OCD. We have just hired a psychologist to work at DSP in addition to the other staff. My son went to UCSD; he had several learning issues and auditory processing, auditory memory. The disabled program only had about 45 kids out of 25,000 in their program. They refused to help my son after we had additional testing done twice at their suggestion. We gave up. There is a book on disabled programs that colleges offer. It varies quite a bit from school to school. Judy