As the parent of a youth with a disability you are living within a dual world.
There is the external world of school schedules, work deadlines, and life demands. Your internal (or private) world is one that isn’t often shared with external world but intersects in the academic and social demands of education where a student’s success and failure is intertwined with their sense of personal worth.
It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed and to become dependent on others about what is best for your child and what they are capable of achieving.
If your child has an Individualized Education Program through special education and is 16 years of age you will be involved in creating a transition plan because it is federally mandated. There are very specific requirements for what and IEP transition plan will include and who will be involved in creating it. The complete explanation if provided through the Department of Education’s Transition Guide. Transition Guide from the Department of Education.
It seems counterintuitive to provide you with this document but my goal is to show you how the process works and to provide you with everything that a Transition IEP should cover.
You and your child need to become educated consumers.
As explained in the Transition Guide, “The ultimate purpose of transition planning is to make decisions and assign responsibilities related to the student’s desired post-school goals.” (U.S. Department of Education (Department), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities, Washington, D.C., 2017.) page 21.
That simple sentence encompasses the time of a lot of educators and administrators and their decision-making process will ultimately effect what opportunities are offered to your child, the classes they will be encouraged to take, the classroom in which they will take them, and the opportunities for skill development that are encouraged and pursued.
Post-school none of these educators will be part of your life.
Decisions will be relegated to you and your child and whatever supports you have in place will be what you will ultimately rely on as time goes forward. That is why you and your child need to be 100% involved in the creation of your transition plan because when you sign off on it – it is yours and yours alone. And the future opportunities for your child depend upon it.
Does this story sound familiar? If you and your child have experienced similar challenges with school, I can help you smooth path upward toward their dreams. Book a free confidential 1:1 consultation today.