Many high school students can take their time in preparing for college. Dyslexic students, however, need to start preparing right away. Here are my top five ways of preparing for college during your ninth grade year.

Number 5: Learn to be your own advocate. This takes time and practice. The first step is to learn about your dyslexia. All of us are different. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What accommodations do you need and why?

Number 4: Develop your vocational interests. (What do you want to be when you grow up?) This sounds daunting, but you have plenty of time. You can start by thinking about what kind of books, movies, and TV shows you like. Are you interested in autobiographies, dinosaurs, or crime scene investigations?

Also, consider the adults in your life. Who seems to be happiest in their jobs? Who do you enjoy talking to the most?

Number 3: Start a college folder. As you come across colleges that might interest you, collect brochures and notes on each college.

Also, use the Internet to investigate colleges. Print out pages and put them in your folder. The most important task at this point is to have fun. Investigate schools in Hawaii and Paris. You may not be able to go there, but it's fun to look.

Number 2: Start visiting some colleges. Again, it is important to have fun with this. Build a short visit into a family vacation or go to a local college with a group of friends. Start to think about what you like and what you don't like about each college.

Number 1: Get retested over the summer. Make sure that your psychologist is experienced in testing for colleges and college entrance exams. It is a good idea to bring a copy of the ACT or SAT diagnostic requirements to your first meeting.

Be well and make a bit of noise,

Dr. Michael Ryan




Dr. Michael Ryan