High School to Adulthood

Do you know –

Where your child will live? & if needed, what supports are available?

What kind of job your child will have? & if needed, what supports are available?

Will they go to college? & what supports do colleges provide for students with disabilities?

What type of transportation will your child use when they are out of high school?

What leisure time activities will they be involved in?

The success of transition planning depends on each member of the team helping your son or daughter to reach his or her dreams for the future.  You, as parents, are a VERY important part of the IEP process.  Your involvement is a big factor in how successful your young person’s transition into the adult world will be.

You and your son or daughter knows more than anyone else about his/her:

  • goals for adult life
  • personal strengths and interests
  • areas of weaknesses that need to be worked on and the supports they need to be successful

Federal law states that by the time a student is 16 years old, or younger if needed, transition services & activities need to be included in the IEP.  At this time, the IEP meeting will look & feel different from the numerous IEP’s you have attended in the past.  With transition comes looking to what your child’s goals in education, employment and independent living are following high school.  Depending on his/her goals, transition services and activities will be developed into the IEP to assist your child in getting closer to their goals OR possibly for them to decide their goal isn’t what they would like to do or it isn’t a realistic one.  Effective transition planning depends on looking at your son or daughter as he or she is today, and then imagining what services and supports will be needed to achieve his or her dreams in the future.

Some tips for supporting your son or daughter in the transition process:

  • Know your rights and responsibilities and keep abreast of laws and policies regarding transition and adult services.
  • Talk with your son or daughter about the future and what he or she wants it to be.
  • Give your child opportunities to plan for himself or herself even if it means that he or she sometimes choose incorrectly.   They will be involved in making many choices after graduation and need practice in weighing options available to them socially and educationally.
  • Encourage your child’s dreams by using their strengths and abilities to create realistic steps to their goals.
  • Let your child take responsibilities for their own actions.
  • Provide opportunities outside of school for interaction with others of different ages and backgrounds to help your child develop social confidence.
  • Help your child learn about his or her disability and how to ‘speak up’ for the supports he/she needs.
  • Maintain copies of all school records and medical information.

For more information contact the Federation of Families of South Carolina at 866.799.0402.

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