When your child receiving special education services reaches age 15, your school district should create a plan for the student’s transition out of high school by age 18 or 21.
The idea is to avoid a last-minute scramble to accommodate your child’s needs in the year before they leave high school.
This video from Alison Morris, a special education attorney at Cuddy Law Firm, explains what goes into a transition plan.
Alison has both professional—and personal—experience with special education advocacy.
She has a younger brother with special needs. She attended his Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and witnessed the process of creating his transition plan.
The plan considers the child’s needs, interests and preferences.
It covers three major areas:
The transition planning process starts with an assessment of their situation.
At this age, your child should be invited to their IEP meetings. They should be involved with the process and expressing what they want to do.
The transition plan should be as concrete, specific and detailed as possible. General statements about the industry where they will work or the type of home they will live in aren’t good enough.
The plan should break down steps toward reaching the child’s goals, such as researching job types or focusing on certain skills and steps they need to reach their goal.
It should define goals for daily life skills like managing money, managing time, using a phone, making an emergency call, taking care of personal hygiene without reminders, taking medications, cooking, cleaning, and advocating for themselves.
For more on all the details you should clarify in your child’s post-high school transition plan, watch the full video from Cuddy Law Firm.