Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

Mar 09
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by Jess

Transition services are an important part of in helping students with disabilities achieve maximum success as an adult. Transition services are coordinated activities that promote movement from school to post school activities. These activities can include education, vocational training, employment, independent living, community participation and/or adult services. It is important to plan for transitioning into the adult world because each student with a disability requires a different strategy to help them be successful and independent, while living and working in the community.

The transition process is broken into three parts. In the first part, students are coached along with their family to develop long-range goals and a plan to achieve those goals. In the second part, the student’s high school experience is designed to make sure that the student acquires the necessary skills for success in their post-school goals. Lastly, students and families are provided resources, post-school supports, or programs before the student graduates from high school.

It is federally mandated that students 16 and older have an IEP with a postsecondary transition plan. However, in most school districts transition services usually begin at the age of 14 and continue until the student leaves high school. In addition, an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) is developed for every student as part of the IEP process. As an ITP is developed it is imperative for families to keep abreast of all appropriate services and continue to encourage advocacy from the student and family. Additionally, like all services, it is important to remember to keep copies of all IEPs, assessments, and any other important documentation and correspondences with agencies. As you research appropriate services, keep in mind that all agencies have eligibility criteria.

So where do you start? Check with your child’s case manager or special education department in the school district. They should be able to inform you of the procedures and support for transition services. Also, do your own research! You are the number one advocate for your child. Working as a team is vital to the success of students with disabilities as they prepare to exit out of high school. Yet, with the abundance of resources and services, helping your child transition to their adult world can be filled with a lot less challenges.

Nicole Reed, Ed.S. is a special education teacher and advocate for students with disabilities. She has over eight years of experience teaching and working with students with various disabilities. You can follow her on Twitter @Educator_4_You


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