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Life After High School: Preparing Teens for the Transition to Adulthood Arlyn Roffman, Ph.D. Lesley University

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Presentation on theme: "Life After High School: Preparing Teens for the Transition to Adulthood Arlyn Roffman, Ph.D. Lesley University"— Presentation transcript:

1 Life After High School: Preparing Teens for the Transition to Adulthood Arlyn Roffman, Ph.D. Lesley University

2 Transition Planning Process is legally required under IDEA Process is legally required under IDEA Begins no later than the first IEP in effect when student turns 16 Begins no later than the first IEP in effect when student turns 16 School and family work together as a team School and family work together as a team

3 IDEA 2004 on transition: Transition planning must allow student to work toward goals that are   appropriate and measurable   based upon age-appropriate assessments IEP must describe the transition activities and courses of study that will allow student to achieve goals Focus can’t be just on academics but should also allow opportunities to develop functional skills

4 Post-School Activities include:  Post-secondary education  Vocational education  Employment  Adult services  Independent living  Community participation

5 Who’s on the team? Student Parent/guardian Special education teacher Regular education teacher LEA/district representative Other agency representatives, as appropriate Advocate, if invited by family

6 What’s the team’s agenda? Identifying student’s vision/post- secondary transition goals in terms of   Living   Learning   Working   Leisure

7 Discussing student’s Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLEP) Establishing a Coordinated Set of Activities toward measurable goals

8 Coordinated Activities can include: Instruction Related services Post-secondary education Vocational education (if appropriate) Employment Adult services (if any are needed) Independent living Community participation

9 We need to prepare you students for your IEP transition planning meeting by: Empowering you with knowledge about the process   The point of the meeting and IEP/transition document itself   Who will attend the meeting and why   The agenda

10 Encouraging active involvement by role playing participation, including:   Introducing self and others   Describing strengths, challenges, and interests   Expressing vision for own future   Self-advocating for needed supports   Thanking all for participation

11 Parents, you too need to prepare for the IEP transition planning meeting by: Becoming informed consumers Asking administration how system handles transition planning Asking for mentors, if available Using tools to help prepare Communicating with your child about his/her dreams and goals

12 At the meeting itself   Consider yourself a full member of the team   Provide input ahead of time in writing   Ask for a separate transition meeting if time is too limited to plan carefully in one meeting   Ask questions about anything that confuses you

13 So, where do we begin? THE FOUNDATION OF TRANSITION PREPAREDNESS IS SELF- DETERMINATION. Step #1: Building self-awareness and self- understanding about: Interests Strengths Areas of challenge How to work around areas of weakness Developing a Learning Profile helps capture the above

14 Step #2: Fostering self-efficacy and self-acceptance Self-efficacy = an “I CAN DO” attitude Self-acceptance comes from reframing how one thinks about one’s weaknesses Achieved through   high (but reasonable) expectations   increasing responsibility

15 Step #3: Fostering decision-making skills by Exposing students to choices and encouraging them to participate in decision- making Helping them set personal goals and strive to meet them Encouraging youth to voice their preferences and honor them as much as possible

16 Step #4: Fostering self-advocacy by: Helping them learn when and how to ask for help Helping them determine whom to ask for help Teaching this and reinforcing self-advocacy skills in school, at home, and on work placements


18 How LD can impact work readiness: Reading problems make it difficult to read memos, emails, manuals Writing problems make it hard to fill out applications, complete invoices, compose reports, answer emails, Math problems make it difficult to calculate pay, make change

19 Language processing can result in misunderstood directions Memory problems can lead to forgotten meetings, missed deadlines Disorganization may lead to losing items of importance Social skills deficits can lead to difficulties being hired, maintaining relationships with co-workers, being considered for promotions

20 Students must become aware of their work-related rights and responsibilities under the ADA and Section 504 Must be otherwise qualified for position Must be able to perform the essential functions of the job Employer is only required to provide reasonable accommodations if employee self-discloses and if it is not an undue hardship to do so

21 In order to take full advantage of legal safeguards, individual with disability must: Be aware has a disability and understand it Know s/he qualifies for civil rights protection Have written documentation validating diagnosis Be able to identify and self-advocate for accommodations Be willing to self-identify

22 Student should learn about available accommodations and which ones s/he might need: To workspace To instructions To supervision To work schedules To equipment related to the position To materials To job tasks

23 Great resource on job accommodations! Job Accommodation Network (JAN)   offers individualized consultation about accommodations   visit on the Web or call 1-800-ADA-WORK

24 Important to bring in Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) as resource By two years before graduation, Mass Rehab representatives should   Provide information regarding available services   Identify students who are eligible for their services   Attend transition planning portion of IEP team meeting and help plan work-related goals and services   Provide assessment

25 Vocational assessment should evaluate: Interests Aptitudes Temperament Learning style Work skills Basic skills Functional skills needed for work

26 Critical steps toward employment for youth: Developing career awareness Exploring interests and finding field that meets “goodness of fit” criteria Developing prevocational skills (e.g., reliability, promptness, follow-through) Learning job-seeking skills Finding work, assimilating into workforce, and learning how to hold on to a job

27 Transition Planning Portfolio should include a work section: Results of any vocational assessments Listing of all work experiences, paid and unpaid   Names of companies/organizations where worked, including supervisors’ full names   Dates held each job   Titles of each job   Responsibilities of each position held Letters of recommendation

28 Getting ready for community life: INDEPENDENT LIVING SKILLS

29 Domains of independent living   Meal preparation   Consumer skills   Self-care   Housekeeping   Mobility/getting around   Leisure/recreation skills   Social skills

30 The complexities of getting a meal on the table! Meal preparation entails   Planning a nutritious meal   Creating shopping list and shopping for ingredients   Following recipes and cooking using related vocabulary and appropriate timing   Maintaining kitchen hygiene and safety   Setting the table   Serving the meal, using social skills   Cleaning up, storing leftovers

31 The impact of LD on meal preparation: SHOPPING   Math- problems calculating sale prices (e.g.25% off)   Visual memory- problems remembering layout of store   Visual figure-ground- difficulty finding one item among many on store shelves COOKING   Reading- difficulty decoding/understanding recipes   Math- trouble measuring   Visual discrimination- discerning teaspoon from tablespoon   Temporal- trouble timing courses to serve together

32 To help students with community living skills Provide authentic experiences whenever possible   In the home   In the community, whenever possible Help them learn community social skills and offer opportunities for practice The goal, as always, is generalization, being able to use the skills from setting to setting and from one time to the next


34 Preparation for postsecondary learning entails Knowing that for ALL students there are postsecondary learning options, including:   Non-degree transition-focused programs   Technical schools   Adult education centers   Community colleges   Junior colleges   Four-year college/universities

35 Preparation for postsecondary learning entails Learning about the differences between high school and chosen learning environment Conducting a search for the appropriate learning setting Narrowing down choices Following Transition Timetable in book, pp. 197-205 Making application

36 Preparation includes learning about the laws that protect them and that… IDEA does not apply to higher ed Under Section 504 and the ADA, discrimination based on disability is prohibited   Otherwise qualified students must have equal access through provision of reasonable accommodations   But students must self-disclose to be protected

37 Preparation includes adding learning- related materials to Transition Planning Portfolio : School records: past and present IEPs, transcripts, one-page summary of extracurriculars Disability documentation: most recent psycho- ed evaluation, listing of all approved accommodations, copy of ACT/SAT scores College-specific information: questions to ask at interview, competed “Common App”, updated resume, essay describing disability, non- confidential letters of recommendation

38 Transition team must carefully consider if college is the best path for this particular student Consider motivation Weigh whether teen is prepared for the academic and social demands If college is not the path…   Provide support for making alternative plans

39 Thank you for participating! Feel free to contact me at 617/349-8995

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