Supporting your child during their first year of university is an essential part of their transition to post-secondary. It is equally important to balance providing that support with promoting independence and individual decision making.
Students with disabilities must take a few extra steps during their transitioning year to set up accommodations and adapt their academic skills (e.g. time management, organization, self-determination, motivation, communication) to higher education. Students are also encouraged to engage with the university community, making connections and accessing social activities and student services on campus. During this time coaching your child to make decisions, access and accept supports and seek help can facilitate their first-year university experience.
Tips for fostering a parent-coach approach:
- Regularly invite your child into a dialogue so they know they can come to you to discuss.
- Let your child guide the conversation, rather than leading it yourself.
- Ask them what they need and how you can support them.
- Practice empathy and acceptance, and suspend judgement.
- Avoid advice-giving and use resource tools (link – PMC passport) to guide your child with making decisions and accessing student support services.
- Promote resilience by allowing your child to assess successes and failures and how to learn from their university experience.
This fall, to support the shift for students with disabilities into the online learning environment, the Paul Menton Centre (PMC) will focus on key areas of need. These areas include accommodation for online courses, academic skills building, wellness, and motivation strategies for distance education. Students registered with the PMC will first connect with their PMC Coordinator to assess their accommodation and disability needs. A student development plan will be created for each student to promote skills building for personal and academic development and beyond.