Beginning with the End in Mind
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.
By Dr. Seuss, from
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Youth in Transition
Life is full of changes. Many times the changes will happen so smoothly that you hardly notice them. At other times, you need to plan and prepare for them. Students have dreams of the future and what they will do. This is the beginning of adulthood and it is an exciting time, full of opportunity, decisions, and choices. What do you want to do after high school?
Transition is the process of getting ready to leave high school and moving into the adult word. Planning helps make this process smoother. Transition starts when a student reaches the age of 16 if not before. Students should make sure their high school experience will help develop the skills and knowledge that are needed to obtain their goals. High school is also the time to identify the networks, support and services that will be needed to help insure continued participation to reach your goals.
Developing a transition plan becomes part of the student’s IEP (Individual Education Program) and is what drives the IEP. The IEP team will consider current academic and skill levels, training and education after high school, employment, independent living, and community participation. Transition services are a coordinated set of activities that are based on needs, and take into account the interests and preferences of the student. These activities should be a school and community effort and make sense with your after-high school goals.
Transition planning is much more than a few meetings. It is a process to give you opportunities for inclusion in school and community activities, extra curricular activities, and situations with peers without disabilities. Your plans and goals may change as you progress and mature during high school. This may cause changes in your plans. Give yourself time to allow for these changes.
Once you leave high school, it becomes your responsibility to get and coordinate the training and services you need. You will be moving from the education system (entitlement) to adult services (eligibility). This is can be a difficult process. Careful planning and networking is necessary. You may need services from several agencies to get the help and support you need. Agencies may have eligibility requirements that you will need to meet and some may have waiting lists for services.
Transition planning includes participation by you, your parents, friends, teachers, service providers, and others. As in all aspects of life, the more planning you do while still in school, the better prepared you and your family will be to make decisions and take action.