College, Disabilities, and Success

#82 How to Help Your Child Who Doesn't Want College

September 21, 2022 Mickie Hayes Season 2 Episode 82
College, Disabilities, and Success
#82 How to Help Your Child Who Doesn't Want College
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode parents and teachers will learn how to help their teens who might be hesitant or concerned about their chances to succeed in college.  I talk about vocational school/ trade school options that could be viable alternatives for teens who do not want to seek the typical AA/BA college credit path, and some helpful accommodation strategies that work especially well in vocational classes. You will get a link to a blog post on a non-profit site from Somerset County, New Jersey called Middle Earth.  This site has been providing prevention and intervention services for youth since 1972.


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Mickie  0:00  
College is not for everybody. That is a true a real life statement. College isn't for everybody. There's no doubt about it. But sometimes kids with disabilities are so worried about the option of college or so disinterested in the option of college, that it doesn't even enter into the realm of possibility. Do you have a child that does not want to go to college? Do you wonder if the child should even consider college because of the nature of their disability? Are you worried that college is so far out of the question, you're even concerned if your child is over going to finish high school, these are not uncommon problems. And today, we're going to talk about those problems, and how we can address those situations as they occur. So if your child is in that situation, or you know somebody who's in that situation, this is the podcast you want them to hear. So welcome to Mickie Teaches College Disabilities and Success. Episode 82. "How to Help Your Child Who Doesn't Want College" with Mickie Hayes, the opinions in this podcast are my own, please reach out to your college physician or legal services for additional information.

Mickie  1:23  
Back in the day, I had a parent make an appointment with me to bring her son in so that the two of them could talk about the options of college, I worked at a community college. So it wasn't unusual for me to meet up with parents in their in their kids who really weren't sure about the option of college. But this child stuck out in my mind in particular, because at that meeting, the mom did all the talking, which isn't all that unusual. But this young man sat back slouched in his chair, he pulled out his electronic game and spent the rest of the entire conversation deep in his game. In today's world, it probably would have been a phone. But it was the same exact situation in every single time, the parent asked him to put it away, he just looked at her, gave her a dirty look, turned it over, put it down. And then as soon as she started talking, again, picked it back up, he had absolutely zero interest in college, there's no way he was going to be talked into college, he did not want to participate in the conversation. His body language said at all. There was no doubt about it, in my mind, unfortunately, that this child was not going to go to college. And I felt bad for his mom, because his mom was kind of embarrassed I think about what was happening there. Just simply because she was trying so hard. And his disinterest was so clearly obvious. I found a parent's blog on a website called Middle Earth and it was titled What to do if your team doesn't want to go to college. According to their website. Middle Earth is a nonprofit community based agency located in Somerset County, New Jersey, that has been providing services to adolescents since 1972. Their mission is to provide youth with prevention and intervention services to help them develop into responsible self sufficient members of the community. And they talk about their programs which are free to the youth designed to guide teens and learning respect for themselves and for others. So this appears to be a very good resource for parents who are struggling with their teens. And for teens who are struggling in life. Now in the blog post. It stated many important points that I think every parent should be aware of, if they're in this situation. The first thing is listen to your teens point of view. And I think that is really, really important because when I talked about that example, a few minutes ago, it was clear that the teens in the parents were both on completely different pages when it came to college. But the author suggests various questions that help trigger that conversation. How long have you been thinking about not going to college? What factors made this decision? What do you think would happen if you went to college? I think that's a very important question many times. It's the fear that they think they're not going to pass. That's the real issue. Clearly,

Mickie  4:32  
what are your plans instead? And do you have any fears about being away to college or doing something new? These are all good questions that I think are excellent starting points for the conversation because it's really an issue that's impossible before us. If you don't start that conversation ahead of time. You need to kind of gauge the reasons why your child is concerned about college. Maybe they don't know the options. If you have a disability, that's a biggie that a lot of parents and a lot of students don't realize how easily you can get support in a college, and how the faculty members are bound by the law to give the accommodations that Disability Services has deemed appropriate. So it's really impossible to force College on somebody, it becomes more of a way of exploring the barriers with your child. Now, there are alternatives to college. And they're also mentioned in this blog, including community college, which I believe personally is a perfect alternative. It's if it is available to you trade or specialty schools, vocational schools, awesome choices as well, internship programs, sometimes the high schools have internship programs to look into military service is always an option, clearly going to work. And there's no shame in taking a job and going straight to work. Or sometimes just taking time away from school for a while other education or life experiences, these are all real life options. That makes sense. So I'd like to talk about a couple of those to begin with, first of all the trade or other specialty schools. Now, sometimes at the trade schools, there are problems there. For kids with significant disabilities, they may have a skill or an interest, but their disability is going to complicate the college program or the vocational school program. So there's a couple of things to consider with a vocational school program, when your child has a disability. What happens a lot of times, if they don't have a strong Disability Services option for the child, they're going to give accommodations that goes without saying, but there's no academic support built into the program, you're going to need to consider how to do that. So let's say for example, if your child wants to become an auto mechanic, or a welder or a cook, but you know, they're going to run into problems with the actual requirements of the job, for whatever reason, and they're going to be in a situation where they're not going to get a whole lot of opportunities for one on one time that they may need. So these are thoughts to consider with a child who's got a disability in these situations, looking at a mentor would be an excellent idea. Now, if you don't know somebody who could mentor them in that skill, then it might be worth paying a mentor to do that. Think about it, there's always a cost involved in the program itself. So possibly scholarships, or Pell grant money would be available to your child for the vocational program at the vocational school, you need to explore that option for sure. But it might be worth the investment in a paid mentor somebody who can sit with your child on a somewhat regular basis to review the work that they've done in class. And to help them get a better handle and better understanding on that work. Now one of the things that your child could do is take a video during the training, let's go with auto mechanic and say the teacher is demonstrating a particular skill that the student needs, the accommodation that that student could have, that I have seen work is to video, the example of the procedure and then go back over that video with the mentor. And the mentor then can explain in much more detail and take the time to analyze the video, take it apart and figure out the best way to teach the child and to have the child practice the skills that that teacher at the school wants them to know. And that can be done very, very easily with a phone or with an iPad and just holding it up and getting a close up shot of what the hands of the instructor are working on inside that engine. And this could really apply to any kind of vocational skill, whether it's nursing or cooking hairdressing, it makes no difference when you're dealing with physical aptitude of doing the job correctly.

Mickie  9:32  
And that's what they have to know. That's a really good way to review. And so if they can't just automatically do that in class, the teacher doesn't just automatically allow it. They could do it as an accommodation through the Disability Services at their school, whatever and wherever that happens to be. Now if your child might be interested in a general education program or a program that is an AAA degree and not necessarily A vocational type program but a generalized a degree and possibly moving on to a bachelor's degree. But they're really, really afraid of it in one respect or another trying continuing education classes at the college can make a big difference in getting your child used to the idea of college being around peers, but it doesn't have that critical Pass Fail credit attached to it, it's a little more relaxing of an atmosphere, it would not go towards your degree, but it would be a very useful way for a child with a disability to ease into the idea of heading to college. So looking at the continuing education classes might be a good option. Also, a lot of the colleges now have certificate programs. And even in the continuing education, they'll have certificate programs available to where the child simply is learning the skills are polishing the skills that they already know in their interest level, but would make them more marketable when looking for a job. So look into the certificate programs as well, because many, many colleges now have certificate programs. And you don't have to have a degree to get into them just a high school diploma. But I think the most important thing is to avoid the issue that that mom had with the child in the game and my office, because I believe, and I'm just speculating, but I believe that was a situation where the breakdown in communication was so significant between the mom and child that nothing was ever going to happen until that communication changed. And so if your barrier is not so much disability, but just that big, deep break in conversation, and communication, the really important step is to figure out where the breakdown is, and the best way to fix it. Because without good communication between the parent and the child, as they're heading to college, the odds of success are going to be stacked against the child. So communication is huge in helping that child earn a marketable skill, whether it's at the college, the vocational school or job site, the communication for success is critical. I will be sure that the links that I mentioned in today's podcast will be attached to the show notes. And I really hope that today's episode can help because I know there's a lot of kids out there struggling and a lot of parents out there struggling and worried about their child's future. If you have any questions, send me an email I met Mickie teachers, M I C K i e My website is Mickie There's a link on my podcast page of my website where you can send me your requests for future topics. I'd love to hear from you. So please feel free to use that and drop me a line give me a possible topic that you'd like covered. Let me know I'd love to hear your story. In the meantime, have a great rest of the day. And we'll talk again soon. Bye. The information contained throughout this podcast has been gleaned from my own personal experiences, but to ensure accuracy, please contact the Disability Services at the college of your choice to have firsthand information and the most up to date policies and procedures followed for your particular institution of higher education. The content in any of these podcasts is not intended as a substitute for information from legal, educational or medical professionals. Always seek the advice of your attorney or qualified health care provider with any questions you may have with regards to illegal educational or medical concerns.

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