Helping University students with Learning Difficulties

BOOK REVIEW: How to Succeed with Specific Learning Difficulties at College and University: A Guide for Students, Educators and Parents


People often question educational psychologists about ways for children and teenagers with learning difficulties to succeed in school, but what about students with specific learning difficulties at college and university? How do they succeed? As an educational psychologist working in Hong Kong I am often asked this question by parents of teenage children with ADHD, dyslexia or Asperger’s syndrome. The above titled book provides a helpful guide for parents, students and school staff.


The author, Amanda Kirby outlines the challenges that people with different types of learning difficulties have, including dyslexia, dyscalculia, and language and communication disorders. It then moves on to outlining the issues that need to be thought through when deciding whether to get to college or university and providing hints and tips to help people with these learning difficulties going to college and university. This is a helpful section as it makes clear all the poignant issues and guides the reader into answering key questions that may help them make the decision, for example what level of support they have from their family, and issues in living independently. Kirby also focuses on strategies that people may find helpful in their college and university life. Rather than being divided into specific learning difficulties it is divided into different areas of college/ university life. This is particularly helpful in keeping the book clear and logical for the reader. Examples of areas covered are: socializing, studying, living independently, and organization.


To conclude, this book sets out to help people with specific learning difficulties manage college and university life. It seems a useful source of information that thoughtfully tries to empower people to manage their independence when making the transition from secondary school.