College is an exciting, intimidating, and emotionally charged event. College opens the door to new opportunities and offers personal development, growth, and independence. Transitioning from high school to college can be difficult for anyone, however, when you have hydrocephalus extra challenges are thrown into the mix. In addition to adjusting to the regular aspects of college life, you also need to learn how to manage your condition. We believe with proper management and by creating a plan you can still go on to have a successful, fun-filled college experience.
What You Need to Know
The College Search
There is a lot to consider when thinking about transitioning to college with hydrocephalus. Beyond the typical considerations around academic fit and cost, you will also need to think about your medical needs and what accommodations and supports are available on campus.
Differences Between High School and College Accommodations
It is important for students and families to understand that the services, supports, and accommodations that a student received in high school may not be available in the college setting. The responsibility for requesting and managing accommodations also rests fully on the student, unless a FERPA waiver is on file with the school.
College Programs for Academic and Accessibility Support
Academic support varies across colleges, from peer tutoring and writing centers to specialized programs to schools completely built around educating students with learning disabilities. Additionally, some schools are well known for their inclusive approach to physical accessibility.
College Status and Leave Policies
Students with hydrocephalus may require more flexibility in their college experience, due to unpredictable hospitalization, medical procedures, and illness. It’s important for students and families to understand the policies on full- and part-time student status as well as leaves of absence before committing to a school.
Choosing the Right College
Choosing the right college is a big decision. Alongside the typical comparisons like cost, distance from home, academic major, etc., students with hydrocephalus should consider proximity to a medical center with neurosurgical care as well as compare the services and supports that the school offers.
Transitioning to College: Academics
There are a lot of moving parts once a student commits to a college and moves on to requesting accommodations (for those that need them), honing their self-advocacy skills, and preparing to navigate their health and wellness needs independently.
Transitioning to College: Healthcare Management
For many young adults living with hydrocephalus, college is the first time they are managing their medical condition(s) on their own, particularly if the individual has moved away from home to live on campus. For this reason, it is important to put into place a plan for local care, particularly in the event of a medical emergency.
Mental Health and Wellness for College Students
College is an exciting time for many students but it can also be overwhelming, as students transition to a more independent lifestyle with new academic and social pressures. It can be a lot for some students, but many colleges are actively working to provide holistic support to student health and wellness.
Medical Alert IDs and Hydrocephalus
Without proper identification of a medical condition like hydrocephalus, common symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, sleepiness, and vomiting can be misdiagnosed and appropriate care could be jeopardized or delayed.
HA's Scholarship Program
The Hydrocephalus Association’s Scholarship Program was established in 1994 to provide financial assistance to capable and promising young adults who live with the ongoing challenges and complexities of hydrocephalus. We are proud to offer a total of eleven scholarships annually in the amount of $1000 each. However, the number of awarded scholarships may vary each year depending on available funding.
College Planning for Students Who Learn Differently
Is your teen or tween considering going to college after high school? Do you know where to even start looking? Preparing for college is about more than grades, test scores, and a college list. In this webinar, Joan Wittan, M.A. from The College Consulting Collaborative, focuses on what colleges look for in students, the six essential skills for college success, the types of accommodations and services that are available on campus, paths to independence, and how to find the “right fit.”
Yes, there is something for everyone and the time to start preparing is now.
Preparing for the Transition to College
In this installment of our video blog series, Through a Mother’s Eye’s, Debby Buffa addresses the difficulty parents and caregivers face when sending a loved one with hydrocephalus off to college and how to plan and prepare for this transition.
Balancing Work, School, and Hydrocephalus
Carly has dealt with multiple shunt malfunctions in her life. In this blog, she shares the important takeaways about what it means to balance parts of your life along with hydrocephalus.
Surviving College with the Ups and Downs of Hydrocephalus
College is an exciting time but can be challenging when you're living with hydrocephalus. Here are some tips to survive college while managing the ups and downs of hydrocephalus.
Google Calendar, My Best Friend
What is the best app you've found? Lauren, a college student, shares how google calendar helps her keep track of the tasks she needs to do throughout the day.
Practical Tips and Tools for Dealing with Memory and Executive Function Challenges
Common routines can be uncommonly difficult for individuals faced with memory and executive function challenges. This video explores what is meant by the term “executive dysfunction” and how executive functions are essential in day-to-day functioning. You'll learn practical tips and tools to support individuals living with these challenges to help increase their level of independence.
HydroAssist® is the first mobile app that allows you to record and store your hydrocephalus treatment history and access it when you need it from your mobile device or through you computer or laptop.