In this Issue: Transition: What will be the best path for your child?
President's Message
"Life After High School"  
"What Happens When the Bus Stops Coming?"
"For Students With Disabilities, Transition From High School Requires Self-Advocacy"

President's Message: 
 "Transition" - That word has so many connotations for us who live and work in the world of disabilities. It can be scary, it can mean hope. I have seen many transitions. From early intervention, to school years, through transition programs, then onto adulthood and independent living. Each stage has those two components; fear and hope. But over the 26 years that we have been working with families, something is starting to happen now. I'm starting to hear comments from parents like:

"I never thought I would now feel that my child with special needs
would be my most 'successful" child!"

"I can't believe we are now going to remove the guardianship, as our
child is able to make decisions on his own".

"It is just amazing that we now take vacations as a couple, and we
are confident our child will be okay while we are gone".

Each of these statements are said with joy, happiness and pride. I see so much progress because families are becoming more informed. They are doing the research, and doing it earlier to ensure their child's happiness and success. They have been brave enough to give their child opportunities to become independent. Independence means success, but it also means learning to deal with challenges. The successes give us the hope to keep moving forward.

And because of that forward movement, change is occurring for the better.
Hope is a wonderful thing.

This issue focuses on Transition planning. I hope you enjoy the insights included here.

Warm Regards,                                                                            
Mary Anne Ehlert, 
President & Founder


Life After High School

"The Journey to Life After High School: A Road Map for Parents of Children with Special Needs" This comprehensive guide examines the laws that impact a child with special needs, the importance of the individualized education plan, and the different paths a child with special needs can take after graduating from high school. "The Journey to Life after High School" not only provides the steps that need to be taken prior to graduation but also the preparation required for the new adult's legal and medical rights - 
  • Getting Started
  • The High School Years: IEP Meeting Planning
  • After Graduation: Employemt or College?
  • Securing Benefits
  • Guardianship
  • National Directory of State Agencies
  • Special Olympics Employment Study by University of Massachusetts, Boston
This article provides a link to a very comprehensive free report that has guidelines to help you. "The Journey to Life After High School: A Roadmap for Parents of Children with Special Needs" Great Resource...Check it out! 

What Will Happen When the School Bus Stops Coming?... 
by Marina Sarris
Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute

This article profiles three families as they went through transition with their children.  What they learned will certainly help you and perhaps explain some answers to some questions you may have already.

Read the whole article here.

For Students With Disabilities, Transition From High School Requires Self-Advocacy
by Sarah D. Sparks
for Education Week |

This article is very helpful in helping to understand how to encourage self-advocacy in your child. With a focus on "Changing Supports, Teaching Advocacy, and Finding a Voice"

Read the whole article here.

Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.