What Colleges are Best for Kids with Learning Disabilities?

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My son, 18,  has ADD & PDD-NOS and has been in special ed since preschool. He is very disorganized. He needs assistance to stay on task.

Where can I get information on colleges that are best for kids with learning disabilities?

Start Your Research

Have you done any research on this question? We can help you get started, but you need to answer some questions first.

  • What is the nature of your child’s learning disabilities?
  • When will he graduate from high school?
  • Does he want to go to college?
  • What are his interests?
  • Are you looking for a college in your state (in-state tuition)?

Start on the Wrightslaw College – Continuing and Higher Education page here –  https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/college.index.htm

This page has links to articles, videos, podcasts, directories of colleges with programs for kids with learning disabilities, and helpful information.

Involve Your Child in Planning

Your son needs to be involved in the planning and research.

Take a look at this video.

From Where I Sit is a powerful video series of eight CSU students with disabilities who share their experiences in the college classroom.

They tell their stories by answering five questions:

1.    What is your disability?
2.    What made you decide to come to college?
3.    What is it like in the classroom?
4.    What do you have to do to keep up with the class?
5.    What suggestions can you offer to faculty that will make their classroom more accessible?

Listen to this Podcast.

Transition from High School to College for Students with Learning Disabilities.

Use a Directory.

Colleges with Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities is here: http://www.college-scholarships.com/learning_disabilities.htm

College Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities is here: http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content3/college.planning.LD.html

There is a huge amount of good information on the Internet.

There are also educational consultants who can help you find a college that will be a good fit.

If you would like to use a consultant, the Yellow Pages will help you find someone in your area to contact.

More Options

College program options for students with disabilities are growing, but many programs are expensive.

Some schools offer a transition year in which students earn transferable credits while preparing for college life. Other degree-granting institutions for the learning disabled include summer programs for college-bound students.

“Federal law requires all colleges to provide some accommodations for the learning disabled — tutoring, for example, or extra time on exams — and with the rapid increase in students with diagnosed learning disabilities, many mainstream colleges and universities are trying to serve them better.” – from Learning with Disabilities (NY Times)


  1. Single parent needs help with my son disability, learning disability, but he’s real good in Sports. 1 sport only, wrestling. he want to go to a 4-year College.

    • You have many options. It is matter of planning. If he is still in middle school, you have some years to plan. If so, look at NCAA eligibility requirements and TRACK him carefully. Depending on his specific needs and LD, the master of the use of assistive technology while still at high school will be an advantage before going into college. I am going to list a few colleges and please review and interview their disaiblity student services at those schools as they can help guide your son and you. Many of them work directly with the coaches. Look online for wrestling camps and clinics at colleges. They are very IMPORTANT so he will get noticed. This is going to be a process but well worth. There is is a lot of special support for college athletes and many are very focused.

    • Below are some colleges with great LD support and wrestling and important links. It is important to be realistic about your son’s LD needs and college support. Colleges with summer transition programs are crucial for him if he needs a lot of support. Email coaches and ask about wrestling clinics and send any video footage to them also. Talk to his teachers about what works for him academically. Research, ask questions, know NCAA eligibility and work with his school counselor so he/she is aware of his goals, academics, etc.



      Centenary University, Hofstra, Rhode Island College,

      Mercyhurst University has a summer transition program,

  2. I also know a school in NYC for children with learning disabilities, named Aaron School. Teachers and staff are very supportive and responsible. They offer school programs at very affordable rates.

  3. You might also want to check my Conquer College with LD website for informative articles re: the high school to college transition, and what makes it so risky.

    In addition, see the Smart Kids with LD website. I am their college correspondent, after having been a college Learning Specialist since 1993. Smart Kids is a great resource!

  4. We have this same difficult question in the UK – and it’s certainly true here that not all schools and colleges provide equally effective support for dyslexia. Sometimes the school appears willing to help and confident that they can support your child…but in practice this support is not always provided, or if it IS provided, it is often not effective enough.

  5. My 12 year old son has PDD-NOS and ADHD, too, and is very disorganized. I’ll be in your shoes in a few years. I heard of a college in VT called Landmark College which is supposed to help college students with disabilities.

    Good luck!

    • karenRZ – The NY Times article in this post featured Landmark College. You may be interested in their “bridge semester” if you are not already aware of it. Keep checking our College page. We continue to update and revise the page as additional resources and college listings become available. Good luck to you (in a few years). You are wise to be thinking ahead.

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