On Thursday, May 11, 2017 Hi-Hope is hosting a FREE training called "Where Do We Go From Here?" that focuses on preparation for the transition from high school for individuals with disabilities. The training - presented by Parent to Parent of Georgia and the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services - teaches the "keys to successful transition, the role of the school in transition planning and things to consider when planning your child's transition to adulthood." This is all great stuff, but it might help to really explain what is meant by "transition" as it is the focus of this program.
The transition planning process is intended to help youth currently receiving special education services and their families in planning life goals after high school. The plan can help the student prepare for things like independent living, employment, and further education once they leave high school.
Parent to Parent of Georgia has a ton of great information about this process on their website (www.p2pga.org), but here are few key points that they highlight:
- The transition planning process should include an assessment of the child's skills and interests and an identification of agencies that may provide or pay for transition services.
- The transition plan is part of the child's IEP and should be reviewed and revised at least once a year.
- Students with disabilities are eligible to remain in public school until they turn 22 or they receive a high school diploma (each school system has a written policy with the specifics and you should be aware of these details).
- When your child turns 18, all rights, including educational rights, transfer to him or her (there is a lot that comes with this transfer of rights and preparation is necessary).
- When your child graduates with a diploma or exits school at age 22, the school should provide a Summary of Performance (SOP) to help determine your child's future plans.
One of the best tips for handling the transition process is to begin planning as early as possible. Waiting until middle school or high school to get "on track" - especially for something like the regular high school diploma - is NOT advised. That being said, the free training being offered next month might be the perfect time and place to get started. And if you have already begun the planning process, come by for a refresher or to learn something new. Together we can figure out "where do we go from here?"