Thursday, September 26, 2013

College: Which Colleges Provide the Best Services for ADHD and Learning Disabilities?

If you read my post about what college options look like after high school, you will be aware of the lack of understanding and/or education about what is available for kids with ADHD or learning disabilities. This really isn't the student's parents fault because many of the high school counselors don't really know about the available programs or services out there. And it really isn't the school counselor's fault either since they are usually not in the classroom and are maybe not as aware of the student's struggles are or what their IEP or 504 plan states.

So...where can we look to place the blame? Well, how about we don't blame anyone and instead, focus that energy into looking for programs and colleges that provide comprehensive services to students who need them. What if we start looking at the potential of these students instead of automatically placing them in the "Junior College Only" category? Because these kids shouldn't be overlooked or opted out because they have different needs or even more needs than other students- they should be given the same opportunity that other students have so that they can feel the success that comes from attending a school that empowers them instead of shaming them.

Through my research about such programs and talking to parents who have come before me and done some of the initial leg-work, I have come up with a couple of amazing programs that help bridge the gap between Parent's house and Independent Living, some options that help provide a smaller stepping stone between living at home and living out the world by themselves. If you have any other suggestions, I would LOVE to hear about them so that we can create a comprehensive resource for parents, counselors, and even the students themselves.

Landmark College:

Landmark College is an Associate Degree program in Vermont that provides students with a comprehensive education that has been designed specifically for students with dyslexia, ADHD, and ASD. Students learn that the WAY they learn is as important as WHAT they learn and start educating themselves accordingly. This program focuses on proven strategies for students who need adaptive teaching methods and technology based teaching. Students learn how to self advocate as well as coping skills that benefit them both in school and in real life.

Michael from Scaggsville, MD says that "(He) only had three other options: return to Franklin and Marshall, return to community college, or stay home and get a job. I chose Landmark. I have loved it. At Landmark, they teach you about yourself and what your strengths and challenges are and how to overcome those challenges by focusing on your strengths."

Check out more at or email them at

Menlo College

This is a top business school in the Silicon Valley, California and name "Best in the West" by Princeton Review for two years. The best part about these amazing distinctions is that Menlo also provides extensive services for students due to their amazing 14:1 student to faculty ratio. These services can be from simple tutoring to a personal faculty liason for students who need interventions and specific help from the teachers. Students say that this personal connection with their professors is one of the main reasons why they are so successful because "no one will leave them behind."

Check out Menlo College at
and email questions to

Beacon College

Beacon College is a four year college in Leesburg, Florida that provides degree programs for students with dyslexia, ADHD, and those on the autism spectrum. Students have the opportunity to study Business Management, Computer Information Systems, Interdisciplinary Studies, Human Services, and Psychology. What makes Beacon unique is their belief that all students, regardless of their disabilities, can achieve a four year degree that provides them with the stepping stone necessary for most American young adults trying to make it in a world where a B.A. is a necessary trade mark of a career driven person.

Andrea Cornick, 2013 graduate, said "What I love about Beacon College is the fact that it gives you a chance to shine and prove to yourself and others that you are capable of achieving more than your best expectations. Beacon College is the place to make your academic dreams come true."

Learn more about Beacon College at and email them at

College Living Experience

I am actually really excited to talk about College Living Experience because I know for a fact how much good it can do for my students and their parents. College Living Experience is a program that helps students with ADHD and Executive Functioning Disorders attend school at either a four year university or community college and participate in a live-in program that provides structure and regulations for students. They have specific meetings they must attend, such as tutoring hours, study hall, and social and academic workshops to increase their skills, housekeeping presentations, and living skills classes. These services provide students with a stepping stone between their parent's house and living completely independently. Students are able to participate in any of the services that are provided, however students are also expected to start the process of understanding what it takes to function on an independent basis. I think it is such a great chance for college students to find out how to be successful away from home yet still learn how to make a difference in their own lives by self-advocating for their needs.

Contact College Living Experience at and call them at (800) 486-5058.

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