How to help soon-to-be or newly graduated high schoolers make the transition to adulthood.
What to do after leaving high school can be a challenging question for many parents and young adults making the transition from high school into adulthood.
For families who have members with special needs this conversation should begin earlier then one might ordinarily think. In public schools, transition planning begins at age 14. The greater the severity of the child’s disability, the earlier preparation should begin.
The basic areas to consider when beginning this process are education, work, social, and living arrangements. If post secondary education is apart of your planning, then begin searching for colleges, universities, technical schools, or training programs near and far that will support your child’s specific needs. Investigate their admission requirements and supportive services for people with disabilities.
Be sure to have a clear understanding of what your child’s strengths and weaknesses in personal responsibility, reasoning and problem solving, study
habits, academic skills, interpersonal skills, and domestic responsibilities. Being clear about all of these areas will assist with clarifying the most appropriate setting to choose.
When considering work and social choices, begin with your child’s interests and talents. Apprentice programs, internships, and volunteer opportunities will assist with determining some specific marketable skills that your child currently has or ones that can be developed.
Socially, giving your child the opportunities to engage and experience diverse community experiences will aid in minimizing the social withdrawal that often occurs after leaving high school for many children with special needs.
Each of these areas plays an integral role into the successful transition from high school to adulthood. The main keys to remember are to begin early, be clear of your desired outcome, and seek options to support those desires.
Published in: Family