Suggestions for College Students with Learning Disabilities

  • Set realistic goals and priorities for course work. This might mean limiting your involvement in extra-curricular activities or taking a reduced course load during your first semester or when you're taking particularly demanding courses. College level work and related assignments are often much more difficult and time consuming than in high school.
  • Become knowledgeable about your disability and both confident in and adept at describing your disability and related needs to others.
  • There are lots of students (and staff/faculty!) at colleges who have disabilities - there's no need to be ashamed at being "different" or asking for "special help."
  • Tell your professors about your disability and recommended accommodations EARLY in the semester. In the process, try to get to know your professors and have them get to know you.
  • Sit at/near the front of the class to ensure you can see and hear well and to minimize distractions.
  • Use a day-planner to record all due dates, meetings, and responsibilities. Be sure to write all of these things ONLY in one place -- your planner. Carry your planner with you always so you can add things as they come up.
  • If you are allowed to tape-record lectures, use a tape-recorder with a "counter" on it. When you don't understand something in class, write down the counter number. Then you can go back to review just that section of the tape. (You won't have time to re-listen to all of your lectures all of the time.)
  •  If you learn better by "thinking out loud" or working with others, start study/discussion groups for your classes.
  • If you're feeling overwhelmed or having trouble in a class, speak with the professor (or the Dean of Students) immediately. College professors expect students to come to their offices with questions or to discuss what they're learning; that's partly why they have "office hours"—times when professors are in their offices to meet with students. DO try to be prepared with specific questions or at least to be able to identify what areas you don't understand.
  •  If particular subjects (like foreign language or math) are difficult for you, consider taking them during the summer when you can focus exclusively on those courses. You could take them at Trinity in the summer if they are offered or, with the prior approval of your advisor and the Registrar's office, you could take them at another college and transfer the credits, so long as you earn a "C-" or above. (Grades do not transfer in from other schools, but credits do. So whatever grade you earn at another school, good or bad, will not affect your grade point-average at Trinity.)