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Information for Parents  

How You Can Help!

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Parents, as you help your son or daughter transition from high school to college, concentrate on the quality of your communication. Consider asking yourself these questions:

  • Do I allow my son or daughter the freedom to explore new experiences and new ideas?
  • Do I share personal beliefs and experiences?
  • Do I tolerate opinions, ideals, and values that are different from my own?
  • Do I understand how my son or daughter is handling the transition from high school to college?
  • Do I know of any specific transition problems? Do I suggest or support strategies to deal with the problems?
  • Do I overreact or become overly sensitive to decisions that are contrary to my own needs, values, and expectations?
  • Do I create any roadblocks or unnecessary pressures that stem from my own needs and desires?
  • Am I available for my son or daughter to express his or her feelings and concerns about the transition process?

As parents, you are in a unique position to influence the transition process. College students today need their parent's interest, concern, and willingness to work with them during this important period of change and growth. The prevailing philosophy of student development on college campuses today encourages young men and women to solve their own problems with little authoritative intervention. Students are more successful with the responsibilities associated with independence when they have had practice during their earlier years.

Excerpted from Virginia's Guide to College for Students with Disabilities (2003 Edition)
available at