What Are the Best Tips for Dealing with Dyslexia at College?

M.C. Huguelet

Dyslexia, a learning disability which affects an individual’s ability to read and write, can make the tasks associated with college classes, such as taking notes, writing essays, studying, and taking exams, especially challenging. Luckily, there are steps that can be taken to make it easier to deal with dyslexia at college. First of all, before choosing a college, it is important to find out what kind of support potential schools offer to dyslexic students. Upon selecting a school, dyslexic students should consult with the disability support staff to sign up for assistive services and to get tips for coping with uncooperative faculty members. Finally, to maximize academic success, students dealing with dyslexia at college should take advantage of resources like writing centers and study skills groups.

Dyslexia affects one's reading and writing.
Dyslexia affects one's reading and writing.

Dealing with dyslexia at college is a process which should actually begin before a student is enrolled in a particular school. As the student researches prospective colleges and universities, she should make it a priority to find out what kind of support those schools offer to students with dyslexia. She should also find out whether potential schools as well as her local, state, or national government offer funding to college students with dyslexia. Since a dyslexic student’s support system can factor significantly into her academic success, she should select a school which can best offer her the technological, emotional, and financial support she needs.

Colleges might provide laptops programmed to read text aloud to students with disabilities.
Colleges might provide laptops programmed to read text aloud to students with disabilities.

Once a school has been chosen, the student should consult its disability support staff to start the process of finding out which assistive services are available, and signing up for those services she qualifies for. She may, for instance, be eligible to use a laptop computer which is programmed to read text aloud, or she may be allowed extra time or a transcriber for examinations. Determining which services a student is eligible for may require a medical evaluation, and students should thus begin this process before classes have started. During the semester, the student may also need to consult her school’s disability support staff to get advice about dealing with uncooperative professors and other problems.

Lastly, a student coping with dyslexia at college should take advantage of available resources outside the classroom to strengthen her chances of academic success. For instance, her college may have a writing center where she can go over essays and other written assignments with a tutor. The school’s dorm or student center may offer study skills groups in which students can get tips about time management, note-taking techniques, and related issues.

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