Higher Education Possibilities for Children with Special Needs

In today’s education world, there is a huge push for differentiated options and avenues for education of children with special needs. More and more children are being diagnosed with special needs every single day. Most classrooms have a main teacher and at least one special needs teacher in an effort to provide students with the attention and help that they need and deserve. There are a number of options and resources that are available to these children from primary school all the way up to higher education. There is a great fear for parents of classified special needs students who are going to take the leap into higher education. The fear is that all of the help that the students received in primary and secondary education will no longer be available to them in higher education. The parents need not to get stressed as the reality is that there are various options and assistance for abnormal students in higher education institutions. However, the need is of searching the colleges that have required special needs assistance programs.

What Help for Special Needs Students is Available in Higher Education?

There are a number of financial aid programs that are tailored to help disable students to afford their higher education. This type of assistance comes in the form of grants and aids, both private and government funded, that will support their further education. The types of disabilities that are covered for federal and state grants include: hearing loss or deafness, visual impairment, mental health issues, learning disabilities, physical or mobility impairments and health impairments and illnesses. Even expenses are also there that will be covered to help out students with special needs in the higher education realm. There are certain types of special equipment that is needed for these students to function positively in a classroom and sometimes an attendant is needed to read material to students with disabilities or help with maintenance of the special equipment.

There are special study related services and educational attendants that are dedicated to helping students with reading, taking daily notes in class, interpreting information and even personal care. This is a huge stride in the assistance of students with special needs to feel accommodated and comfortable in a higher education setting. It is a difficult transition because where at home there are friends and family who are very familiar with the individual’s conditions and situation, when you go away to college, no matter how capable you are, it is tricky to establish a support system without any help. That is the value in utilizing the special needs resources as much as possible for a special needs student.

It is Important to Find a College that Understands that All Special Needs are Not the Same

Over the last decade or so there has been a huge push for schools all around the world to make more accommodations for students with special needs. These specific students cover a wide variety of the population and also include people in a great spectrum of challenges. It is important for you to research and find a higher education institution that fully understands and supports the special needs community. It used to be an amazing thing for an institution to be so accepting of special needs people to have a ramp or braille; however, not all disabilities are the same. Not all special needs students are visibly disabled. There are students whose problems we cannot see with our eyes. It is important for the parents of these children to find a higher education institution that fully grasps the concept of being accommodating and accepting of special needs students or we can say that fully matches the specific needs of the students.

There will need to be physically accommodating elements to the structure of the campus buildings and also mental or cognitive assistance for students who suffer from mentally challenging disabilities. There is not one answer for how to accommodate or assist students with disabilities and special needs; it is more of an all-encompassing kind of task to undertake. Some students with special needs are deaf and need special equipment and materials in order to benefit the most from a higher education. Other students have ADHD and need special attention and differentiation of lesson plans in order to succeed in a higher education environment. There are a number of variations to the ways that students with special needs can be assisted.

Once a Higher Education Institution is Chosen, How Do People Take Advantage of the Resources?

Once the parents have selected a higher education institution for their special child to upgrade his or her education, they will need to be proactive in regards to taking advantage of the resources that the higher education institution has to offer. The institution will know about student’s special needs upon the acceptance into a program; however, this is a higher education institution and these are much different with what have experienced in primary or secondary education institutions. Ideally the professors will already be aware and have differentiated lesson plans available; however, parents should take it upon themselves to call or send an email introducing their student and his or her special needs to the professor. The professors will be more likely to be prepared to accommodate the student if they are given a heads up before the beginning of the semester. Also, parents should introduce their student to the assistance program leaders on campus.  This will help to get the students with special needs familiar with the programs and the people involved in helping them. This will break the ice and make the transition from secondary education and home life to higher education and campus living a little smoother and easier for everyone involved.

There are financially beneficial programs for the special needs students to get involved with as well as educationally and socially beneficial on campus programs. Parents will need to research the offerings of their specific higher education institution and see how the campus assistance can help their student with special needs.

Special-needs students require a great deal of support and encouragement. It is generally seen that the student wants to achieve, but feels alienated from other students when he or she is incapable or unable to complete definite tasks. That causes deep irritation and frustration. The only way we can divert a student from such a negative attitude is to focus on his or her strengths. Various governments’ programs are offered worldwide to offer support for the encouragement and up gradation of the special needs students.

Author: Richard Mcmunn

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