If your child is going to college, he or she will need specific training to prepare for independent life at college. No longer will there be an individualized education program (IEP) team creating a plan for you to help you to be successful in your college classes. If your child requires any type of access accommodation, it will be your child’s responsibility to identify himself as visually impaired and will have to contact the disability services department at his university and provide them with documentation that supports his disability.
Assisting Your Child
You can assist your child by preparing them to experience success while in college. There are specific ways that you can accomplish this. Help your child by giving him the tools to successfully transition to his new college life. Make sure that the child is already taking on an age-appropriate amount of responsibility. Responsibilities your child can assume include self-care, presentation (makeup, shaving, hairstyle, and clothing choices), some food preparation, time management, technology care, organization, transportation, and schoolwork. The success of your child in college will also depend on proficiency in assistive technology, Braille, and adaptability to mobility skills.
Help Your Child to Cope
Help your child learn to study for tests. Remind him to read the material, review his notes, and participate in study groups. By this age, your child should be learning to balance his school life with his life at home. Give him opportunities to practice his ability to cope with multiple tasks simultaneously, such as his homework and self-care, contribute to household chores, and maintain friendships. Your teenager’s only job cannot just be to do well in school because that way you won’t know how to manage your time in college.
Hunting For an Apartment
Your child will need to choose an apartment or college dorm. Encourage him to consider various factors, such as price diversity, accessibility to public transportation, and safety. Maybe you can take a weekend off and find an apartment for practice.
Assessment and Training
Help your child take responsibility for finding agencies in the local area of their college that provide assessment and training, specifically designed for people with blind or low vision, in orientation and mobility, recreation and leisure skills, skills to advocate for self, communication skills, and skills for daily living.
Encourage your teenager to participate in activities and social groups to make friends and relieve stress. Continue to provide realistic criticism of her social skills. Whether your child enjoys college, life will likely depend on maintaining a few strong friendships. To accomplish all of these things, it is important to do college planning.