Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The day before college starts

Here it is!  We made it.  It is the day before college starts.  It has been a process to get to this point. There have been many appointments scheduled, many trips to the college, many assistive technology decisions made, many logistical things that we have had to think through….but it has arrived.  The day before school….

How did we get here?
It has been a process.  We like to tell our son that these are all learning opportunities for him.  I think he’s tired of all of these opportunities.

The following list of blog posts is kind of a picture of what the process has been like the past year.  We started working toward this transition a long time ago, but some things just can’t be done until the end.

What have we been doing this week?
This week has been a collaborative effort on our family’s part to make sure that S has everything he needs to be successful.

We have been to campus a number of times in the past week making sure S can get himself around campus.  The challenge he has with his Low Vision is that he can’t see the building names across campus.  He needs to know his exact path to follow to get from A to B.  We have visited campus frequently.  He has wheeled himself around.  We have talked out a path.  We have found landmarks for him to identify.  

Oh...another challenge is that it’s not just a matter of getting to the building and entering a door. He has to find the door that has the handicap accessible button or the door with the ramp.  

One more challenge S has is that he has a horrible sense of direction; however, he is very good with maps and creating a picture in his head.  He has studied the campus map.  We created a campus made of Legos, and he has moved the Lego man around campus and talked about the path.


He has his school supplies.  His supply list is somewhat different than other students.  He has Assistive Technology devices and software to help with his Low Vision and fine motor issues due to Cerebral Palsy.  He is using Zoom Text, Dragon Dictation, and the EmPower program through efofex software (free software for students with special needs to help with math and science equations and graphing) along with:

The Transformer which projects an enlarged image onto his laptop screen.  He has just received this, so he needs some practice with it to see how helpful it will really be.


He received a syllabus already from one teacher with her supplies on it.  We have had to try to figure out exactly what he will need from that list as we look at how he will adapt her requirements to fit his needs.  He has emailed her, and she seems quite receptive to what he has suggested.

S also has ADD which presents a challenge when we are talking about college.  Time management and planning are going to be key in his success.  He likes using Google Calendar and the task list.  He has already entered all of his assignments from the syllabus he has received.  (I won’t tell how long it actually took him to do that task.)

S likes looking at a calendar also.  We have a 4 week calendar on our fridge that he frequently stops by to look at and gets sucked into the “Calendar Zone”.  We purchased a 4 month calendar to hang on the wall near his desk.  J has filled it in for him for this semester and color coded everything for S.


At this point, we believe we have everything in place for S to be successful.  I'm sure we are missing something. I am anxious to talk to him tomorrow afternoon to see how his first day went. As he likes to tell us, “You are more excited about this than I am.”  Maybe...just maybe….

I will be on the couch with chocolate looking forward to seeing how this next chapter in my son’s life plays out!

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