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Bridging Transitions Helping Families and IEP Teams Build Strong Bridges for Student Transitions.

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Presentation on theme: "Bridging Transitions Helping Families and IEP Teams Build Strong Bridges for Student Transitions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bridging Transitions Helping Families and IEP Teams Build Strong Bridges for Student Transitions

2 Change is Difficult “Mom, you know I don’t like change.” –Megan Sanders, who has Down Syndrome

3 Parents of Children with Special Needs Face Many Challenges: Feelings of isolation and anxiety Financial worries Inadequate information Difficulty navigating services

4 School Transitions Babies Can’t Wait to Preschool Preschool to Elementary School Elementary to Middle School Middle to High School High School to the rest of your life

5 Common Areas of Transitions Parents know their child better than anyone else Parents can share information with school personnel about the student’s needs, activities and goals Parents should participate in selecting goals and the kinds of learning experiences their child will have Parents can act as role models, instilling a positive attitude about learning

6 Parents as Coordinators School Health Care Recreation/Social Activities Eventually, Independent living

7 Information Binder Birth Certificate Immunization records Social Security Number School Records (IEPs and Evaluations) Photographs Encourage parents to keep a binder with the following information about their child with special needs:

8 Information Binder, Cont’d Samples of Child’s work or other accomplishments Communication logs/correspondence Non-academic activities the child is involved in Anything that provides an accurate description of their child

9 Forms Parents Can Use to Profile Their Child Positive Student Profile Portfolios Parent Input Forms – – – –

10 Babies Can’t Wait to Preschool Hold transition meetings with individual families Explain differences between the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) used from birth to age 3 and the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) used for age 3 and above

11 Preschool to Elementary School Write a handbook for parents - “The Next Step” Preschool Parent Training Series Transition Fair –Panel of Parents –Panel of Teachers

12 Elementary to Middle School Create a checklist for parents of 5 th graders – with input from parents and teachers Question and answer sessions at school Parent Resource Centers

13 Middle to High School Work with graduation coaches – targeting students with IEPs Present trainings to families about diploma options Present trainings for families about transition plans

14 High School to the Rest of Your Life Prepare packet of information for all high school seniors who might go on to college or technical school Talk to students with IEPS and their parents at school system college fair Transition Fair for students with IEPs who might go on to work and/ or independent living

15 One on One with Parents Parent Mentors talk one on one to many parents whose children are going through one of these transition periods. Just talking to other parents whose children have gone through some of the some things can reassure parents.

16 Parent Mentor Program It is the mission of the DeKalb County Parent Mentor Program to provide information, support, and encouragement to the families of children who receive special education services and to the professionals who serve them. The Parent mentors are parents of children with disabilities who are employed on a part-time basis by their school systems. The Parent Mentors for DeKalb County are: Madeline Griffin Paulette Gay Melanie Johnson Phone: 678.676.1897 Fax: 678.676.1888

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