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Feb 21, 2013

Tackling Tricky High School Issues Part 2

Faith Berens

A few weeks ago, I discussed some of the tricky high school issues that many families encounter related to homeschooling a teenager with special needs or learning disabilities.  Today, I will address a question we receive very frequently.  I hope you will find this information helpful!

Q:  My child wants to go to college, but I am unsure he will perform to the best of his ability on the SAT or ACT because of his learning challenges.  How can I apply for special testing accommodations on the college boards?

A:  If a child has a learning disability, ADHD, or some other special challenge that will warrant the implementation of testing accommodations, there is an application and documentation review board process set in place by the College Board.  Documentation policy statements for the College Board, as set forth by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) are available here.   These provide guidance to parents, consumers and educational testing professionals about the type of documentation required to verify accommodation requests for test takers with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder.  On the College Board website, please go to students with disabilities section.  Look at the documentation guidelines, application process, and forms for parents. They also have counselors available to help you through the process.  One of the requirements set forth is the student must have current (within 3 years) psycho-educational battery of tests by a licensed psychologist or certified educational diagnostician. 

The documentation and application process is fairly lengthy, so I encourage parents to begin early.  I also recommend that you don’t wait until your student is a freshman or sophomore in high school to have his/her learning disability or struggles officially diagnosed or documented.  My fellow special needs consultants and I  have talked with many members who have waited until the student was a teenager to get an official diagnosis, only to be denied testing accommodations by the College Board. 

Another helpful article on navigating this process is available at Kathy Kuhl’s website,

Also keep in mind, that there are many colleges that do not use the ACT or SAT test scores for admission decisions.  Be sure to check ahead of time to see what the colleges your child is interested in require for homeschooled students.  To view a list of over 300 schools that do not use the ACT and SAT, visit the Fair Test website.

I know that navigating through this process can be cumbersome and lengthy, but remember this promise from God’s Word.

2 Corinthians 9:8: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have abundance for every good work.”

 Resources:

  • Guiding Teens with Learning Disabilities by Arlyn Roffman, PhD
  • Learning Disabilities:  The Ultimate Teen Guide by Penny Hutchins Paquette and Cheryl Gerson Tuttle
  • Peterson’s guide National Colleges with Programs for Students with LD and ADHD

-Krisa

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