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Special Education

Transition

New York State regulations require that all students age 12 shall undergo an assessment that to determine vocational skills, aptitudes and interests. This process is known as the Level One Vocational (Career) Assessment and includes a review of school records and teacher assessments, parent, and student interviews. The student and parents share their hopes and ideas for the future and teachers provide feedback about the child’s strengths and aptitudes in different areas. This information incorporates the student’s interests and abilities into the career decision making process and is included in the development of the student’s IEP for the following school year. At age 12 the student will likely not yet have a clear idea of the future, and may perhaps be a bit unrealistic, but this begins the conversation and gets the student thinking. Changes in student goals and preferences are normal and expected so the process is dynamic and ongoing goals tend to become more specific and realistic as the student ages. The process examines educational programs and career options and focuses the student, parents, and staff on realistic outcomes available to the student upon completion of his/her secondary education.

Additionally, for those students (in NYS) beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student is age 15 (and at a younger age, if determined appropriate), the IEP must include recommendations for special education programs and services and transition activities that are coordinated, and will reasonably enable students to meet their measurable post-secondary goals and annual goals relating to transition. This information is updated each year at the annual review meeting.

Planning while in school must look at the future, beyond high school. The purpose of transition planning and services is to incrementally prepare students with disabilities to live, learn, and work within the community by providing them with career and life skills, knowledge, and life experiences. Transition services should be based on the individual’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and include instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and if necessary, acquisition of daily living skills. The IEP will spell out what will occur in school, including skill development and real-life experiences, to help the student achieve his goals and be prepared for adult life.

Teenagers also need to be engaged in the transition process to practice self-advocacy skills. Developing self-knowledge is the first step. Learning about one's self involves the identification of learning styles, strengths and weakness, interests, and preferences. Helping the student to identify future goals or desired outcomes in transition planning areas is a good place to begin. Participation in transition planning enables and empowers the student to direct his/her own life. This empowerment can serve as a motivational strategy to encourage the student to be active in the IEP process and other decision-making situations. It is helpful for the student to practice self advocating while in high school, with mentoring and/or supervision, before being expected to do so independently at college or in employment situations. The acquisition of self- advocacy skills is a critical component of transition planning if successful outcomes and independence are to be achieved.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018   |  District Home