I have a daughter with a learning disability who is going to college next year. What's the right balance of support vs. independence for me to give to her when she goes to college?

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Jed Geary, Director of College Counseling, Eagle Hill School, Hardwick, MA

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This is a very difficult question to answer as it will really depend on your daughter. I would suggest that you give her as much independence as she can manage. The sooner you can remove the support, the better she will be able to handle herself independently. As there are so many aspects to this question, here are some things to consider: 1. If she takes any medications, can she manage them on her own? 2. Does she demonstrate academic motivation and maturity? Is she driven to do well and is she willing to seek help from peer tutors? Basically, is she a good self-advocate? 3. Can she mange her time independently? Create a schedule and stick to it? 4. Can she make good decisions and will choose academics before social activities when needed? If you have concerns in any of these areas, I think it is wise to put some safety nets in place. This includes, but is not limited to: 1. Introducing her to the disability services and/or support center at the college she attends. 2. Be sure that she signs the FERPA release at the school - this will allow the faculty at the college to speak with you and they cannot without this permission. 3. Have her enroll in a summer program at the school she will attend if applicable. 4. Look into hiring a life coach or grad student to help with executive functioning skills.

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