Is it possible? Yes. Is it practical? Maybe. Would it work in every family, with every quirky dynamic? Probably not.
Does it make me feel sad that some capable adults who could benefit from programs like this will never get the chance to try, because their families or guardians are convinced that it’s just not possible?
Like many high school graduates, Jennifer Gans, of Glen Ellyn, wanted to go to college. But developmental delays put her in a population of students that few colleges serve: those with “intellectual disabilities.”
Now Gans, 25, is a proud graduate of Elmhurst College’s four-year Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy and has the certificate to prove it.
ELSA, which started in 2005, is one of a small but growing number of college programs in the Midwest for students with intellectual disabilities. The students’ diagnoses include Down syndrome, autism, developmental delays, multiple learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder.