College Advisor for Students with Learning Differences
Archived Q&A and Reviews
College counselor for senior with ADHD
Looking for recommendations for a college counselor/coach who specializes in kids with ADHD and learning differences who can help identify appropriate schools as well as guide the application process. We are in San francisco but are willing to meet a quality person anywhere in the bay area. Thanks--
College Admissions Counselor for LD Student
I am looking for a college admissions counselor experienced in helping students with LDs to assist our family in finding a good college fit for my son. He has ADHD, NVLD and dysgraphia. He is also gifted. Thanks for any recommendations!
We've sent both of our children to Dianne Ruyffelaere ( druyffelaere [at] gmail.com ), with great results. Our first child had a minor NVLD and with Dianne's help was able to find several schools that appealed to him--and that were great fits--and he was accepted at several, including his first choice! She and my son were able to take the learning disability and make working through that an asset. I think part of what makes Dianne great is that she meets each student where he or she is, and creates the entire college application packet that shows the whole student in a great light.
Dianne can take your child through the entire process, or just bits and pieces of it, whatever works best for you. She helps the student define what he or she is looking for, or needs, in a college, and then narrows down the list via lots and lots of online research into each school--along with her considerable insight into so many schools in the country. You end up with a list of six to ten schools, ranging from safety schools through reach schools, all of which would be a good fit.
She will then work with your student on the essays -- yay! That part is just great. She helps your child find his or her voice and find the story he or she wants to tell. Plus, she keeps things on track and on deadline! I cannot say enough good things about her, and would be happy to talk to you about her if you'd like. You can e-mail her at druyffelaere [at] gmail.com Good luck! Nancy
She doesn't specialize in working with LD students, but Tami Uecker (tami [at] gberland.com) was a wonderful college counselor for our son with LD issues. Also a bright kid, but one who really needed to find the right academic and social environment to thrive. She did a huge amount of research to locate colleges that fit his academic profile, that provided learning support services and that he could get into. He is now a thriving freshman at a small liberal arts college and he and we couldn't be happier. Tami has a very positive attitude, and she works with a student's strengths rather than trying to get them to change their weaknesses. For example, our son had very mediocre SAT scores, but she found schools where that didn't matter as much. I couldn't recommend her more highly. Carrie
I am the mother of a daughter diagnosed with ADHD, memory retention problems, and math dyscalculia. She is graduating from the IB program at BHS this June. BHS wouldn't help her at all, no accommodations, because her grades ''were too good,'' despite her D in AP Chemistry and Cs in math. I suggest you contact Wendy E. Morrison who helped my daughter tremendously. Wendy is positive, enthusiastic, respectful of her students, and full of up-to-the minute knowledge about schools and new developments in their admissions policies and preferences. You will want a college counselor who is accessible. I can't emphasize this enough. Wendy's response time was always less than one day. My daughter came away from two years of Wendy's college advising with self-respect, self confidence, and optimism. My daughter was admitted to her first choice: UC Berkeley, as well as several small liberal arts colleges. Without Wendy's knowledge of esoteric details in the UC application process, I don't believe my daughter would have been admitted. My daughter is thrilled and I give all the credit to Wendy. She is located in Kensington (510) 384-5962. DW
Recently, I desperately needed a college consular and with nowhere to turn, I came to the BPN which has always been invaluable as I raised my three children. I choose, from recommendations on this site, Wendy Morrison in Kensington. wendy [at] wendymorrisoncollegechoices.com She is the light at the end of the rainbow when it comes to guidance and assistance. I have no words to express how this lady worked for me to turn a personal nightmare into a dream come true. She assisted a total stranger (me) immediately, and worked tirelessly to achieve my goal. Honestly, she had to hold my hand the whole way through. She was straightforward and honest about the situation and assessed its merits and/or weaknesses from every angle. Both my husband and I are college educated but knew we needed a professional in the field. We certainly found one in Wendy. My family of five is indebted to her. A forever Grateful Mom
You could try Rebecca Field: http://www.rebeccafieldconsulting.com/ABOUT-REBECCA-FIELD-CONSULTING.html. She has worked with students with learning differences at Orion Academy and Bayhill High school. Jan
College counselor for student with dyslexia
My dyslexic daughter is a junior in high school. Does anyone have a recommendation for a college counselor who is good with kids with learning disabilities? anon
I'm a college counselor with Classroom Matters, the tutoring and academic support center in Berkeley.
Students with learning differences (LD) should keep four general ideas in mind when considering colleges.
First, by federal law, every college in the country has programs and services for LD students. UC's, community colleges, Harvard. All of them.
Second, you are unique and complex - not just ''LD.'' So consider colleges based on other factors - majors, location, extracurriculars, campus life, etc. - but also see if the LD services fit your specific needs.
Third, unless LD has had no impact on your academic performance in high school, disclose it in your application - and, more importantly, say what you have done to overcome any limitations it created for you.
Finally, don't rely on general advice. Call colleges directly. Call Admissions. Call the Disability Office. Tell them your situation and ask about procedures and policies.
Jane McClure, McClure & Associates, in San Francisco, specializes in finding the right college for kids with learning disabilities. She often speaks at events in the east bay. Leslie
Try Ellen Lerner, MS. She has been doing college advising for a while now, and has been an educational therapist for kids with learning disabilities. Her # is 510-652-7222 and her e-mail address is: Lerner8910 [at] aol.com Hope that helps! - Deb Deb
Two things to consider: PHP (Parents Helping Parents) is a wonderful support service for parents of LD students. http://php.com/ They have a very informative website and address the issue of LD and college specifically. It is easy to call and reach a person.
Secondly, not all college disabilities services are created equal. This was a major part of our son's college search. We learned that by law every college/university must accomodate demonstrated learning disabilities, but not all colleges have the same quality of services. Be on the look out for the term, ''Comprehensive'' program. You can ask if the college has a ''Comprehensive'' program. It is often a fee based program that includes a seamless relationship between disabilities (accomodations by law) and the student and the faculty. It may include weekly meetings with a personal advisor, accountability, organizational specialist, reading specialist, counselling, etc. Check out the program at the University of Denver: http://www.du.edu/disability/ It is a model program that has now celebrated its 25th year of the Learning Experiential Program for LD and ADHD students. Best to you! l
College Advisor for ADD kids
We are looking for a college advisor who has expertise and experience helping with applications and selecting colleges for ADD kids (whose academic record is not steller). Thanks for any suggestions. worried mom
I recently saw an excellent presentation by Jane McClure, of Jackson, McClure and Mallory on College Admissions for LD and ADD Students. Her office is in San Francisco, (415) 421-4177. She has particular expertise with LD/ADD students who make up 40% of her clients. She provided a lot of information about the various levels of LD support available at different schools. She also recommended a book called ''Colleges that Change Lives'' which highlights some lesser known schools that can provide a great experience for the not-straight A kids. There is also another college catalog with LD focus but I don't recall the name of it. Jocelyn