Open Letter to Parents

Dear Parents,

That you are reading this open letter shows you are ready to break barriers. Thank you. You’ve worked hard; you’ve done your research. Now it’s time to launch. 

For twenty years, I have been working with young adults and their families in the area of transition to college and independent living. In that time, I have become an expert at identifying and breaking barriers.

The greatest barrier is inflexibility. The concept that a one-size-fits-all approach can instill college-readiness for college-bound students with learning differences is shortsighted. A 50-minute hour every Tuesday afternoon, even when supported by the office hours of disability services, might not be enough time or the right time or the right place. The prevailing issue might be something that is completely unexpected.

Support for LD students seeking college-readiness must be flexible and agile. Such an approach can mean the difference between fitting in and falling short. These unique students need what they need where and when they need it. 

Whatever the challenge—ADHD, depression or anxiety, non-verbal learning disabilities, other mood disorders, social-communication challenges, or weaknesses in processing speed—the support must be tailored comprehensive, and ongoing.

In twenty years, I have learned that the foundations of independence are student agency in: 

  • Organizational Capacity
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Resilience
  • An Active Social Life
  • Disciplined Self-Care

The capacity of a young adult to act independently and make their own decisions in these areas varies from student to student. This is our Focus. While other disability advocates and college-readiness advisors fit the student to the coaching, we fit the coaching to the student.  

On the verge of adulthood, it’s natural for college-bound students to yearn for self-reliance. For many, college is their first leap into independent living. The critical first semester presents opportunities to build life-long foundations for happiness and success. Missteps at this juncture are very difficult to overcome. 

And yet when students have unsupported needs, their progress is beset by stumbling blocks. Students who learn differently are more likely to drop out of four-year college. Only 17% of these students get help in college. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, only 25% of students who received accommodations in high school request the same assistance in college. 

Focus Collegiate will help your student acquire the skills they need to get the most out of college and build firm foundations for the future. 

I am honored to help you and your student on this extraordinary journey.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Grant Leibersberger