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Why College-Bound Students Choose Not to Disclose Learning Disabilities

Yesterday, I provided some information that can help you sort out if self-disclosure is necessary. Today, I’ll review some  reasons why some students opt not to disclose their learning disabilities on the initial application.

Generally speaking, students who choose not diclose the presence of a learning difference is because they do not want to give a college any reason to generate preconceived notions about them. Unfortunately, most people do not understand the varied range of learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, processing disorders or ADHD. To make it even more confusing, learning issues are invisible so the behavior of students with learning differences is often misinterpreted. Some students simply do not want to risk the possibility that an uninformed individual will review their applications.  Your student may want to disclose a disability, however, if he meets the following criteria:

  • He did not take all of the high school classes that a college requires for admission, such as a foreign language, and the college is willing to waive those requirements for LD students.
  • Your student’s grades were consistently lower as a result of his learning disability.
  • His learning disability was identified later in his high school career, and his grades noticeably improved after it was identified.
  • Your student’s learning disability contributed to the classes and activities he pursued in high school. An explanation of the classes will help an admissions officer better understand him as a student.

If you’re hesitant to disclose your learning difference on initial applications, be sure to weigh the pros and cons because the ramifications of your decision can results in dire consequences.  Tomorrow, I’ll discuss some advantages to disclosing a learning disability.

Heather Creech
LD Educational Consultant

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