Caitlin K. Maynard, Guest Blogger:
Some of us with hydrocephalus have the added stress of learning differences. These factors come into play when we start thinking about college. Should I go to a big school or a small school? Should I stay close to home or go far away? Your distance away from home depends on your neurosurgeon and those around you. In my opinion, it is most important to find a place where you are comfortable, your learning differences will be supported, and you will have access to the medical care you need.
Finding a college where your learning differences will be supported can be a challenge. Here are some tips for overcoming challenges you might encounter:
- It is helpful to access your support systems to find the best college, which can lead to a good graduate school, and a successful career. These supports are guidance counselors and educational psychologists who can guide you towards a career. These types of professionals can help you look at colleges in a systematic manner. They will help you look at the colleges in the geographical area you want to apply to.
- Look at the size colleges you want that will support your learning disabilities. This way you will only look at colleges that are suitable for you.
- Once you settle on your schools, use your support to help guide you through the application process. This can be especially helpful if you have any major attendance gaps to explain in your application. Educational psychologists will help you explain this in your essay or create an addendum. This will allow colleges or graduate schools to see your strengths in overcoming any missed school days due to surgeries or illness.
- Educational psychologists/ neuropsychologists can help with your testing and planning ahead.
Accessing these added supports to create applications for college is truly worthwhile. It can help you find a great college that will support you and help show that college why they should accept you. There are ways to work with your strengths and weaknesses, you just need to find them in addition and a career that drives you.