Important First Steps for all LD students
LD students will feel better prepared to learn if they take certain steps early in the year.
1. Contact the office providing Special Services for LD students.
Email them or write them before you arrive on campus. Ask what documents you need to bring with you. You certainly will need:
a. Records of your diagnosis by a neurologist, doctor, or school testing.
b. Records of your individual learning plans from your school.
c. Special accommodations you used in high school such as books on tape or CD, extended time on tests, oral testing, recording lectures, dictating assignments to someone who wrote for you.
d. You might want to mail COPIES not originals of these documents or take them with you.
e. Visit their office before classes start. Learn what services are available. Discuss your individual situation and make a list for services you expect to need. These might include
f. Having a note-taker or permission to record lectures if you are really unable to take notes.
g. Having extended time for tests.
h. Having oral exams.
i. Having exams in a quiet location with no distractions.
j. Getting tutoring.
k. Getting help organizing time, money, and writing papers
l. Getting counseling
2. Get to know all of your professors
Talk to each one of your professors, preferably before the first class. You might prepare a single page summarizing your diagnosis, listing accommodations used in high school, and accommodations you’d like to use in this class. Having a paper in hand often helps the professors understand you are serious.
Maintain contact with your professors. Let them know you really want to succeed and are trying very hard. When you have a problem, make time to see the professors in their offices as soon as possible. Ask their advice and try to follow it. Let them know you appreciate their help.
3. Use Time Management and other organizational methods
Time management is one of the most important strategies for all college students. It is especially important for students with learning differences. You many need to organize your time differently from other students.
For the first year try not to take too many classes, especially classes with a lot of reading and writing. After the first year, judge for yourself if you can add additional classes.
You might divide your study time into shorter time periods with breaks for exercise, music, or other activities.
Organizing all areas of your life will make it easier for you to learn. Read
6. A Healthy Lifestyle will make you feel better and improve learning
Many students feel that, without parents to tell them what to do, they can eat whatever looks good, sleep when they feel like it, and forget about exercise. All of these things affect your health, your brain, and your ability to learn.
If you experience anxiety, stress, depression or anger, you might look at Self Control
When it comes to memory methods, look through the 10 Ways of Memory and choose the methods that will work best for you. We don’t all learn the same way.