Page 3 of 3
By Kristin Stanberry
Many transition planning activities and objectives are carried out at school. However, unlike traditional IEP objectives, many objectives stated in the transition plan take place outside of school - at home and in the community. These activities may include:
Giving your teen chores and responsibilities will encourage his independence and responsibility. As you do this, think ahead to the skills he'll need as an independent adult. For example:
Look within your own community for opportunities to expose your teenager to future possibilities. Consider:
Most communities have a variety of resources to assist students with the transition process. For job listings, youth may contact their local youth employment program, summer jobs for youth program, and WorkAbility and/or Transition Partnership programs (TPP) at their school. Local vocational centers offer training in hundreds of occupations. These centers include Regional Occupational Program (ROP), Job Corps, state Conservation Corps (CCC), adult education programs, and community colleges.
IDEA 04 requires schools to provide a "Summary of Performance" to a student who will no longer be eligible for special education services because he is graduating from high school with a regular diploma or because he exceeds the age for services in his state. The Summary of Performance must include information on the student's academic achievement and functional performance; it must also recommend ways to help the student meet his postsecondary goals. The information provided in the summary should be adequate to satisfy the disability documentation required under federal laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 - which apply to both postsecondary education and adult employment.
Be sure you, as the parent, obtain and keep a copy of your child's Summary of Performance. This will ensure the document is not lost should your teenager misplace or discard his copy.
Noted psychologist and author Bob Brooks points out, "It is not unusual to find that some individuals with learning problems first begin to experience success after they leave school, at which time they engage in activities that are more in keeping with their interest and strengths." Developing and utilizing a transition plan in high school can help your teenager with LD pave the way to a more successful and fulfilling future.
Updated January 2010
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