Is There Life After An IEP: Tips For Graduating Seniors With Learning Disabilities
“My Learning Disability (LD) magically disappears now that I am 18 years old, right?” “Without an IEP and my parents breathing down my back, should I just try really hard and not use accommodations?” “Will my teachers know that I have a Learning Disability and will they judge whether or not I am smart based on that?” These were all questions I had when I graduated high school with Learning Disabilities and let me share a bit of my dyslexic wisdom… The short answer to the first question: No! My LD didn’t magically disappear after graduating high school. Since I needed accommodations in high school, I ESPECIALLY needed them at the community college I attended and then when I transferred to UC Berkeley. I mean, it is college. The work is demanding and often did not incorporate my strengths, let me tell you, I have a good many strengths. How was I going to read 300 pages a week without an accommodation? I was in college for 8 and a half years (from community college to my doctorate). I am pretty much an expert on navigating through college with LD. I even wrote a book that helps to explain how to get a 504 plan (the accommodation plan for college) and the importance of self-advocacy. My book, Once Upon An Accommodation, was illustrated by Mean Dave (who really isn’t very mean, but he calls himself that anyway). With the help of his drawings, I want to give some of you high school seniors some tips about life after high school.