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1. It's Never Too Early to Plan for Your Child's Future
The purpose of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is "to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate education ... [to] prepare them for further education, employment and independent living."
In this issue, we take a closer look at the forest - transition planning and transition services to ensure that our children are prepared for further education, employment and independent living.
"I want my son to be prepared to enter the workforce when he leaves school. How can we we combine No Child Left Behind with vocational goals?"
In Making the Transition to Life After School, Sue Heath answers this parent's questions: "Parents need to start thinking about the transition to adulthood when their children are toddlers. Schools are not required to address this issue until the child will turn 16."
"Although schools exist primarily to provide academic instruction, they must address the transition needs of children with disabilities. Look at these issues separately, starting with the legal definitions."
As we enter the second half of the school year, many parents hear the clock ticking louder as graduation nears. If you don't hear this clock, don't worry. You day will come before you know it.
In Transition Planning: Setting Lifelong Goals, Jennifer Graham and Pete Wright provide advice and checklists that will help your child make a successful transition from school to employment and/or further education.
While IDEA 2004 provides the legal requirements for transition services, there are things parents and students must do to prepare for life after high school. Get these checklists and lots of good advice in Transition Planning: Setting Lifelong Goals.
Learn about the new requirements for transition services, read articles, and download free publications about transition in Transition Services and Transition Planning.
A few weeks ago, we told subscribers about the decision in K. L v. Mercer Island School District (W.D. WA 2006) that described higher standards for a free appropriate public education.
In K. L. v. Mercer Island, the judge found that the school failed to develop IEPs to address K. L.'s transition to independent living and self-sufficiency. The Judge found that “providing a ‘meaningful educational benefit’ under the IDEA requires programs and results which reflect that Act’s emphasis on preparation for self-sufficiency.”
“The IDEA is not simply about "access;" it is focused on “transition services . . . an outcome-oriented process, which promotes movement from school to post-school activities . . . ” 20 U.S.C. 1401(3); 34 C.F.R. 300.29
Read the decision in J. L. and M. L., and their minor daughter, K. L. v. Mercer Island (WA) School District.
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6. Preparing for Employment: On the Home Front
As a parent, you are your child's first teacher. You are also your child's most important role model.
To be successful in life after school, young people with disabilities need to learn specific skills - goal setting, problem solving, decision making, self-knowledge, and self-advocacy.
As the parent of a child with a disability, you need to ensure that your child learns these skills. Preparing for Employment: On the Home Front describe the skills our kids need to learn, and that we need to teach and model for our children.
Pete and Pam offer this advice: "Your child needs to be strong and resilient. Teach your child to work hard, set high goals, and how to handle disappointments without giving up or giving in."
7. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in CA, NC, ME, IL, LA, VA
8. Subscription & Contact Info
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