Parents have always found it difficult to adjust to the fact that their child is ready to be ushered into a college, away from their protective eyes. It is even more troublesome if the child is differently abled and the parents have played a major role in his or her development till that point in time.
It is, thus, required for parents to prepare themselves and their child to face the challenge that lies ahead of them. However, one thing every parent should accept at the very beginning is that their child is now on a threshold of adulthood and they should be treated like that, irrespective of their physical or mental ability. They should find confidence in themselves first, only then would they be able to contribute to the confidence building measures of their child.
However, a few handy tips would definitely go a long way in establishing a balanced approach towards attending a big university and to be able to maintain that balance from the very first day. It should be also taken into account that the measures mentioned are not a one time effort and some of them need to be repeated a couple of times again, atleast at the end of the first two terms.
The measure to be carefully considered first is to choose the right university and there is nothing more important than to personally visit the prospects being pondered upon. One needs to examine the facilities in terms of infrastructure, support system in place as well as a grievance redressal system to gauge the friendliness of the university towards your child’s special needs. It also helps to talk to other differently abled students in the campus to understand their point of view with respect to the facilities and other important issues.
Also do check for accessibility, accommodation and socializing facilities available for the differently abled before taking a final decision. Once the decision is made, it is time to have a detailed discussion about the daily activities that would needs to be managed. Listing down the activities and the ways to complete those activities in the new environment would assist in better and faster adjustment to the new life.
Next is to address the need to build a solid network of people around the child who can be contacted when in need or in case of emergency. This network would include friends, family, doctors and hospitals, the contact numbers of whose, should be on speed dial. It would be a positive step to personally call and meet the individuals in the network to apprise them of the help that may be required from them, and also to confirm their willingness to help.
Thus, as said earlier, the measures need to be assessed again after each term to ensure that they are effective and in place for the next term. It also will help in understanding any other measures which needs to be considered specifically related to the student, since only they can be the best judge of their current requirements.