The information in this newsletter is not a substitute for legal advice
THIS NEWSLETTER IS FOR ALL FAMILIES FACING TRANSITIONS
We all face transitions at different places/stages in our lives. This newsletter is intended to provide resources that will empower you as a parent/family member of a child/youth with a disability to feel confident in preparing for your child's different transition stages. We hope you realize that even when your child is very young, and wherever you are on the journey as he or she ages and grows into adulthood, their life experiences and environment can shape how they will live life in the future. Transitions affect us individually, our children, and our families. A transition is a point in time filled with change, growth, excitement, and sometimes fear and confusion. There are many things to think about and do in order to prepare for these changes.
According to Ohio Operating Standards for the Education of Children with Disabilities, there are 3 identified transitions for students with disabilities:
1. Early Intervention to Preschool Transition
(Birth to 3)
2. Preschool to School Age Transition
(3 through 5)
Preschool Special Education - Search for early care and education programs that meet your needs, find preschool special education rule resources and much more.
Transition to Kindergarten - Tips for supporting your child during their transition to Kindergarten.
Least Restrictive Environment - Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) is the legal requirement that children with disabilities be educated in the same environment as children without disabilities whenever possible. Children with disabilities should only be removed from a regular educational environment if the nature of their disability or services makes it so their needs cannot be adequately addressed in the general education environment.
3. Post-Secondary Transition (14 through 21)
For a more formal look at post-secondary transition as you and your school help to prepare your child for life after graduation, Click here. You will find requirements for transition, and important resources and agencies available to support transition from school into adult life.
Would you like assistance with your child’s transition needs?
Please know that you are not alone. Our information specialists are happy to provide information and training for you through any stage of the transition process, including early intervention to preschool, preschool to school-age, post-secondary transition, and any time in-between.
To find an information specialist assigned to your area:
Contact an Information Specialist
844-382-5452 + www.ocecd.org
The information and questions presented below provide an opportunity for families to take a more personal look at preparing your child for the many transitions he/she will experience starting with the early years and moving through the school years to graduation.
When should you start transition planning for your child?
Throughout our lives, we face questions and search for answers that will help us on our journey to a full and meaningful life. This is true for everyone. A fellow parent/educator recently spoke at a large conference about her 18 year old son. Sarah B stated that she wished she had known about transition planning when her son was in Early Intervention.
We believe that it's never too early to start planning for your child's future!
Charting the LifeCourse
We're highlighting the ChartingtheLifeCourse (CtLC) tools to assist you in creating a vision for the future. CtLC framework was created to help individuals and families of all abilities, and at any age or stage of life develop a vision for a good life, think about what they need to know and do, identify how to find or develop supports, and discover what it takes to live the lives they want to live. We think you will find the CtLC tools very helpful in your family's transition journey. Individuals and families may focus on their current situation and stage of life, but may also find it helpful to look ahead to think about life experiences that will help move them toward an inclusive, productive life in the future.
The newsletter is divided into Educational Stages. We selected only the first CtLC area called Daily Life & Employment for each of the Educational Stages. The remaining CtLC areas are Community Living, Safety & Security, Social & Spiritual, Healthy Living, Advocacy & Engagement, Services & Supports, and Family Unit www.lifecoursetools.com
Please take a look at the following life stages that best fits your families' transition situation.
EARLY INTERVENTION, PRE SCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN -
BIRTH TO EARLY CHILDHOOD'S DAILY LIFE & EMPLOYMENT -
FROM THE CHILD'S PERSPECTIVE
"You may think it's too soon to be thinking about your young child's future, but before you know it, they will be in schools, and then becoming adults. You will want to give your child the best possible start to prepare them for the next stages of life, and help them reach their vision for an inclusive, productive, full "good life" in the future." www.lifecoursetools.com
CDC Milestones - The CDC explains that, “How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children (75% or more) can do by a certain age.” Click here to find out more about the developmental milestones for your child’s age (birth-5 years).
Your Child's Development Birth to Age Five -
Each child will develop at his or her own pace, following predictable stages. Here you will find a few examples of the skills commonly seen in children birth to 5 years.
Help Me Grow - www.ohioearlyintervention.org/families
Concerned about your child’s development? Find programs and resources that may be available to you through Help Me Grow/Early Intervention /Ohio Department of Health
Helping Toddlers Prepare for Pre School -
Learn what you can do to make this big transition to preschool easier for your child. You’ll find a timeline for all the things that need to be done to help toddlers prepare for preschool and guidance on saying a “good good-bye” on your child’s first day.
- Do you recognize and respond to my signs, signals, babbling, gestures, and words?
- Are you playing with me and helping me to find ways to learn about and explore my environment?
- Are there adaptive devices like switch toys and other assistive technology that can help me explore my environment?
- Will you need to quit your job to stay home and take care of me? How will we deal with the loss of income?
- Are you worried about how a diagnosis might affect my future?
- Do you have a vision or plan in mind for me when I get older that will support my growth and development now?
Individual and Family Life
- Have you established a daily routine for me?
- How can technology assist you with helping me with daily activities?
- Are you sharing information with extended family members so they feel comfortable spending time with me?
- Are you sending me to preschool or daycare?
- Who will provide any extra help I might need to attend preschool?
- Do you know where/how to find a childcare provider who can accommodate my needs?
- Are you giving me opportunities to make choices (between two or three options)?
- Do I have the opportunity to make mistakes and are you helping me learn from my mistakes?
- If verbal communication is difficult for me, do I have other ways to make my wants, needs, ideas and thoughts known?
- Are you keeping a vision in mind for my future as I learn and grow?
- Do you view me as being able to do what other children do, even if I need extra help to do so?
- Do I have chores or responsibilities at home like cleaning my room or picking up my toys?
Individual and Family Life
- What are the routines/strategies that will help you and me throughout the day?
- Are there ways you can organize things differently to better accommodate me?
- Are you exploring how technology can assist me with daily activities?
- Do you parent me the same way as my siblings/other children?
- Do you know where to find tips and advice on parenting?
- Are you helping me start to see myself as separate from you?
ELEMENTARY & MIDDLE SCHOOL -
ELEMENTARY/MIDDLE SCHOOL'S DAILY LIFE & EMPLOYMENT -
FROM THE CHILD'S PERSPECTIVE
Now that your child is school age, he or she will likely spend a lot of time with people other than their parents or family. During this life stage, your child is growing and changing rapidly, and they need many opportunities to have life experiences that will help them learn and excel at home, at school, and in the community, as they move toward becoming young adults.
- What does my school day look like?
- Am I in the least restrictive environment or neighborhood school?
- With whom do I spend the majority of the school day?
- How am I included at school with typical peers?
- Am I learning social skills as well as daily living and academic skills in my school experience?
- Is there technology to assist me with school activities?
- Are you sending me to the school’s “before and after school programs” and what supports do I need to fully participate?
- What supports and services does my school provide or pay for?
- Do you know what to do if my school district refuses a request or service?
- Will my school district pay for an independent evaluation?
- Does my school provide assistive technology to assist/support me?
- What if I want to go to a private school– does my home district pay for anything?
- Do you ask me what I want to be when I grow up?
- Am I learning about lots of different jobs from my family, teachers and others?
- Do I have responsibilities at home such as daily chores?
Individual and Family Life
- Do I have an after-school or evening routine?
- Am I expected to follow rules like any other child with consequences when I don’t?
- Are you giving me chances to make choices and decisions about everyday things (like what I wear, what I eat for a snack)?
- Are you helping me learn ways to communicate my thoughts, ideas, and needs to others?
- Do I know when it’s okay or appropriate to talk, who it’s okay to talk to, or what to say?
MIDDLE SCHOOL/HIGH SCHOOL POST SECONDARY - Focus on Transition to Adulthood
Focus on Transition to Adulthood
MIDDLE SCHOOL/HIGH SCHOOL POST
SECONDARY TRANSITION'S DAILY LIFE
FROM THE YOUTH'S PERSPECTIVE
Post-Secondary Transition means that you are moving from childhood to young adulthood and from school to adult life. There are many things to think about and do to prepare for this change. Transition is a point in time filled with change, growth, excitement, and sometimes fear and confusion.
Transition planning at this stage is a formal process for helping kids with IEP's figure out what they want to do after high school and how to get there. In Ohio, transition planning begins at age 14. The purpose of transition planning is to help your child prepare to be an independent young adult.
While services are always individualized and based on goals, much of the transition services will be spent covering college/career awareness, independent living skills, self-awareness and last but not least, SELF-ADVOCACY!
Transition planning is the key to making school relevant to your child’s future life as an adult.
- Have you helped me create a transition plan that is truly individualized and prepares me for adult life after school ends?
- Have you talked to me about postsecondary education? Taken me for college visits?
- If I want to go to college, are you helping me find scholarships or other funding sources?
- Does my transition plan include work or volunteer experience, and practicing how to look for, get, and keep a job?
- Does my transition plan balance work experience, social skills and academics according to my needs, desires, and abilities?
- Are you helping me understand that doing my best at school and being responsible will help me get a job I like someday?
- Can I identify the supports that I need and who can provide those supports?
- Are you helping me learn how to apply for a job and gain experience in jobs that interest me? • Are you helping me explore assistive technology that would help with learning employment and adult living skills?
- Can Vocational Rehabilitation help me prepare for college or a career?
Individual and Family Life
- What daily/independent living skills am I working on as part of my transition plan?
- What are we doing at home to prepare for adult life? Are you teaching me everyday living skills such as preparing meals, doing laundry, or house keeping?
- Do I have responsibilities at home, school, or in the community?
- What does my ideal day look like? What about my week?
- What makes a bad day for me (things I want to avoid)?
- Have you talked to me about how I envision my life as an adult and what I need to reach that vision?
SELF ADVOCACY FOR YOUTH
No one has a greater stake in the outcome of transition planning than the student with a disability. We believe that the student should be an active, participating member of the transition team, as well as the focus of all activities. With support and guidance from their transition teacher, your student will be encouraged to attend and take an active role in their transition IEP.
Here are two great resources for middle/high school students to learn about self advocacy:
Youth Empowerment Video Series
Michael is a high school junior living in Northeast Ohio. Quick wit and humor are integral to his approach in life. He has been engaged in several alternative learning environments since 4th grade.
He has found support and empowerment with the help of OCECD throughout the last seven years. Michael has been influenced by hearing the stories of others' and realizing that sharing his journey has provided him an opportunity to grow emotionally and mentally while bringing hope to other families in similar situations.
Learn more here.
My Adventures in Youth Empowerment
This comic series will focus on empowering transition age youth to become self-advocates. We hope this resource will inform youth about youth empowerment, self-determination, self-advocacy and more. Stay tuned for more adventures in “Youth Empowerment”!Click for My Adventures in Youth Empowerment Series
- Transition IEP Checklist - This resource was written to provide more detail on the transition section of the IEP Checklist;
- IEP Tips for Teens - Use Your IEP Meetings to Learn How to Advocate for Yourself
- Changing Role of Parents - In this 6-minute video, NPCTE Co-Director Barb Ziemke discusses the “seismic shift” parents of youth with disabilities will need to make in the transition to adulthood;
- Tips to Maximize the Parent Role in Transition - Here are some specific tips that can help you make the most of your role as a parent and partner during secondary transition planning
- Secondary Transition and Workforce Development for Students with Disabilities - Federal and State requirements;
- Ohio Department of Education - In Ohio, students with disabilities ages 14 or younger, if appropriate, formally enter into the secondary transition planning process.
- Leap Forward with Backward Goal-Setting - The Backward Planning Process
- Transition Planning Tips for Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Youth with
Disabilities - Cultural and linguistic issues may increase the complexities and challenges of the transition process. Therefore, it is important that students and their families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have equal access to appropriate information, resources, services, and knowledgeable personnel when transition planning is taking place.
- Getting Youth Ready for Health care as an Adult - Achieving this independence requires an organized transition process to gain independent health care skills, prepare for an adult model of care, and transfer to new clinicians.
OCECD offers the following interactive Post-Secondary Trainings:
"It's My Turn" (IMT) and the "Goals Planning Success" (GPS) self-determination trainings available for students age 14 to graduation to help guide students in fulfilling their hopes and dreams after high school.
One student/participant stated,
“I learned about the important part that I have in choosing what job I want for my future.”
A teacher who participated in the training with her students shared,
"Students do things that they have never had the incentive or courage to do before.”
Schools and families
Access this training in-person or a version of it either virtually or through on-line modules, all free of charge!
The workshops contain five parts: The Law, Employment, Post-Secondary Options, Living Skills, and Community Participation.
On Location Training
Ohio Coalition staff provide these self-determination trainings at the request of school districts, agencies, or organizations that serve students and that would like to sponsor the training at a location convenient for them.
Email Us or Call: 1-844-382-5452.
We provide virtual versions of the trainings at the request of families, school districts, agencies, or organizations that are looking for a self-determination training in which all participants can attend through a virtual format, facilitated by one of our Ohio Coalition trainers.
Email Us or Call: 1-844-382-5452.
It's My Turn - Online Learning Course
Students are welcome to participate in a virtual version of the It’s My Turn transition training at their convenience. Many students may want to access this program independently with the built-in accommodations, and others may want to also include their own personal support. To access the It's My Turn modules, Register Today! Be on the lookout for the announcement of our GPS online modules at www.ocecd.org