By Linda Broatch, M.A.
Finding a stable, satisfying job and learning to live independently is challenging for all young people making the transition to adulthood. But it can be especially daunting for those with learning and attention problems — and their parents. Because of this, developing specific transition goals and plans can be one of the most important efforts you and your teenager undertake together.
In this article, we offer an introduction to the transition process, including the roles of parents, the teenager, and the school, some essential components of transition, and what the research tells us about adults with learning disabilities who are successful. In future transition articles, we will explore the topic more deeply by asking experts in the field to share their knowledge and ideas on specific types of transition, including:
No matter what path your child plans to pursue after high school, you can help set the foundation for a successful transition by:
The importance of assessing transition needs, setting transition goals, and planning how to reach those goals becomes clear when we look at research on the performance of young adults with learning and attention problems in high school, post-high school training or education, and employment.
Whether your child pursues vocational training, higher education, or employment (or some combination of these) after high school, three essential factors determine how well he'll be able to deal with life's daily challenges, according to James R. Patton & Caroline Dunn2 (1998):
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