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Tell Me if You Think That This Is Fair

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My best friend and I are friends with two guys who are best friends with each other. We've all been friends since elementary school. Anyways, one of the guys has a learning disability with reading comprehension. I recently found out he wants to go to college at some point, but really doesn't think he can. When I asked why, he told me that our HS guidance counselor told him that he wasn't smart enough for college! He then went on to tell me that our counselor refused to give him any college info or help him fill out a FAFSA! So, now at 27 he wants to go to college but is convinced he is too stupid. That's not fair! I thought guidance counselors were supposed to be helpful!
post #2 of 21
No that is not fair. But what he can do is go to the college that he wants to and ask to do a placement test and they have financial aid help there - that is how hubby got his help and since he is deaf, he got help from the coordinator of special needs and they make sure his needs are met. I hope he can decide to prove that stupid guidance counselor wrong and go to school. I wish him all the best
post #3 of 21
I think that learning disabilities don't mean that someone can't do well in college, or even beyond. When I was in graduate school, there was a student in my program with dyslexia. I know that there was a lot of concern whether or not the student could successfully deal with the program, but they did quite well. With the knowledge and attention placed on learning disabilities today, I don't see why someone can't go to college or even beyond. I think that maybe the guidance counselor needs to read up on the current knowledge of learning disabilities.
post #4 of 21
I forgot to mention, Jake's math teacher is dyslexic, so if he can be a teacher, then your friend can do it!
post #5 of 21
That was pretty mean of the counselor to tell him he was not smart enough for college. Way to encourage a guy...

But, I never had a counselor help me fill out fafsa forms or pick out a college, and I went to a college prep program -- I think most schools leave that up to the student to do; at least around here.

Aqua
post #6 of 21
I am a big fan of education and believe everyone should get as high a qualification as possible.

If you are sensing a 'but' coming up then you are right. Not too sure where you are but university education in US is quite a financial burden. As an aside I believe that the government should further subsidize higher education. Undergraduate studies cost a lot even more so than graduate studies since many top schools offer subsidies some even guarantee $10,000 no matter your financial status just to attract people. Which brings us back to the following questions:

No matter how severe one's learning disability is, the question is can the person with perhaps help and determination overcome it such that they are not disadvantaged from the rest? Or rather to be more precise, can the person graduate from the program in question? If the person fails to complete the program, he may end in a worse position such that he have a significant debt burden.

Another side point to be made is what is the expected increase in income following a successful completion of the degree? This taking into account the degree opening up previously closed roads and such. Although I am not in favour of the next argument, it has been said that if the person know their career path and that for some reason or other education does not really add that much value then it may operate as another strike.

Therefore in conclusion, rather than looking at what other people with similar learning disability did or did not do, your friend should just focus on themselves and ask the simple questions,

1) "Do I think that I can successfully complete the degree, notwithstanding my learning disability?"
If the answer is in affirmative proceed on to 2

2) In a general terms based on your own expectations, do you think that pursuing the particular program will add significant value, such that it is more so than both the cost of the program and time taken off current job.
If the answer is in the affirmative then one should take the program. If the answer is in the negative proceed to 3

3) Do you think pursuing the program will bring significant non-tangible factors such as education offering new opportunites or allowing one to expand one's horizon?
If the answer is in the affirmative then one should take the program. If the answer is in the negative then one should really seriously rethink about the situation focusing on a) desired career, b) cost of program, c) value added.

Remember all this is only applicable if your friend have to pay a significant amount for the education. If cost is not a problem then he should go. I am assuming that your friend does not have a well paying 6 figure salary job currently that will not wait for his return because if that is so, everything needs to be reconsidered.
post #7 of 21
Thats awful! My daughter is Special Needs and if anyone EVER tells her that I will be at the school fighting!
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
With the finance part, I should point out that if you are over the age of 24 the government stops counting your family's income against you when you apply for federal aid. That is why I waited to start college until I was 24. Now, I get so much money that after everything is paid for schoolwise we have enough money for all of our bills and all extras. Neither my fiance nor I has to work unless we want to. My friend is obviously over 24, and he is planning to quit working so that he can take advantage of the federal aid...if I can convince him that he's smart enough for college.
post #9 of 21
Why don't you ask him to try out a few courses first. Many universities offer courses to 'non students.' There is no degree or anything just education for the sake of learning. And the cost is significantly less.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpy
Why don't you ask him to try out a few courses first. Many universities offer courses to 'non students.' There is no degree or anything just education for the sake of learning. And the cost is significantly less.
Yeah, if anything that will help him decide. I hope he does go, though. Money is no object when you're over 24, because than you can federal aid up the wazoo (as my mom would say).
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinceneilsgirl
My best friend and I are friends with two guys who are best friends with each other. We've all been friends since elementary school. Anyways, one of the guys has a learning disability with reading comprehension. I recently found out he wants to go to college at some point, but really doesn't think he can. When I asked why, he told me that our HS guidance counselor told him that he wasn't smart enough for college! He then went on to tell me that our counselor refused to give him any college info or help him fill out a FAFSA! So, now at 27 he wants to go to college but is convinced he is too stupid. That's not fair! I thought guidance counselors were supposed to be helpful!
VNG, I might also advise your friend to contact some literacy programs, Adult literacy programs are listed in the phone book and online. He might be able to get some help before school with comprehension. After he graduates, tell him to be sure to send a copy of his diploma to the "guidance counselor." The literacy groups might do some advocacy as well.
post #12 of 21
Ignore the guidance counselor. I received the same advice when I went to mine many years ago. Here I was, ready to graduate 2 years early at age 16, a straight A student, high placement scores, top in my class and my guidance counselor's advice was that I would be too young to start college and I should work for a couple of years first. It was proof to me that these "figures of authority" were clueless. I started college anyway at age 16.

There are schools for all levels of intellect. Ivy league may be out, but there are other options out there these days for anyone with some ambition.
post #13 of 21
I think that guidance counselor should be fired for NOT doing his job. There is a lot of help out there for people who want to learn. Let your friend know he is not dumb just because he has a reading disability.
post #14 of 21
That treatment by the guidance counsellor was most emphatically not fair -- how to put a student who is already at a disadvantage at a further disadvantage! I always thought it was a primary responsibility of a guidance counsellor to help a student realize his/her full potential. And even if that person's perception were correct, there have got to be less injurious ways of giving the student that guidance.

However, it is well-known that a learning disability does not constitute a lack of intelligence. It is a discrepancy between potential based on intelligence, and actual achievement, that points to a learning disability. In fact, people with learning disabilities most often have at least average intelligence; many have superior intelligence.

All of which is to say that [1] your friend got a raw deal from that guidance counsellor, [2] he should do some serious research and get testing to determine and document the extent of his disability, [3] he should decide where he wants to apply, because there's no reason not to try, [4] when he makes application, he should be up-front about the LD, because there may well be accommodations that the college can make for him, but they can't if they don't know.

My very best wishes to your friend. I hope he rubs the guidance counsellor's nose in it when he succeeds at the thing he wasn't supposed to be able to do.

Note: that's "when", not "if".
post #15 of 21
Thats shocking! . Talk about giving someone a low self esteem!!!.

I wish him well, everbody deserves a chance!.
post #16 of 21
I hope your friend decides to go for it
post #17 of 21
That's really horrible! That guidence counselor should be fired. What a jerk! I had a bad experience with my guidence counselor as well. Luckily, it did not have to do with academics, he was just being an ass.

I have a lazy eye. It doesn't affect anything, it's simply not the best looking thing cosmetically. (It can be corrected, but the surgery has to be redone from time to time) Well, I must have been having a particularly bad day and my guidence counselor asked me about my eye. He started doing stupid stuff like "How many fingers am I holding up" and stupid garbage like that. When I told him it was only cosmetic, he said "What, is you doctor retarded? Fix it!"

Can you believe it? It just goes to show that even those who should be caring towards kids are sometimes the worst ones! It still makes me mad, even 15 years later.
post #18 of 21
Did your friend get low grades in high school because he has a learning disability and possibility didn't receive enough help from any of his teachers? I know some college programs and some universities require a certain GPA in order to be admitted. But a community college may be more willing to accept someone with a low high shool GPA (if this is the case) and give them a chance. Maybe your friend needs to at least start out in a community college because of his GPA, and once he proves he can handle college level work and improves his GPA, he can go on to better things from there.
post #19 of 21
I have a friend that had a physical disability when he was born. His parents babied him since they almost lost him. They basically helped him thru school. When he finally figured out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, his parents and a mutual friend actually talked him out of it cause he was "too dumb". I tried to talk him into taking a few college courses with us, just to get the taste of it, but the self-esteem was just way too low because of this. He regrets it to this day.

Don't let your friend live with this regret. Talk him into a few basic college courses. If he decides to continue, they will count towards his credits.

Sandy
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47
However, it is well-known that a learning disability does not constitute a lack of intelligence. It is a discrepancy between potential based on intelligence, and actual achievement, that points to a learning disability. In fact, people with learning disabilities most often have at least average intelligence; many have superior intelligence.

My very best wishes to your friend. I hope he rubs the guidance counsellor's nose in it when he succeeds at the thing he wasn't supposed to be able to do.

Note: that's "when", not "if".
Exactly! I too have a learning disability. I have dyscalculia, which is like dyslexia but with numbers. I also happen to have an IQ of 160. Just because my brain doesn't get "numbers" doesn't mean a thing, and just because my friends' brain doesn't get reading doesn't make him stupid.

Thank you for your encouragement!
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorie D.
Did your friend get low grades in high school because he has a learning disability and possibility didn't receive enough help from any of his teachers? I know some college programs and some universities require a certain GPA in order to be admitted. But a community college may be more willing to accept someone with a low high shool GPA (if this is the case) and give them a chance. Maybe your friend needs to at least start out in a community college because of his GPA, and once he proves he can handle college level work and improves his GPA, he can go on to better things from there.
Well, he did get some help. He went to an LD teacher for an hour everyday from 1st grade-the end of 11th grade. However, I helped him on his reading A LOT, and he helped me on my math (he's a math wiz!). Since he has trouble with reading comprehension I spent a lot of time finding other ways to get him to be able to retain info. Especially in history, where everything is retention. I discoverd that movies are a big help.
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