Posted on 09/21/2017 at 12:55 PM by Liz Determan
The transition to adulthood is stressful for families of typically developing youth and even more so for families of youth with a disability.
NEW SYSTEMS TO NAVIGATE
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), put supports and guidelines in place to facilitate the educational progress for students with disabilities. Families rely on and become familiar with the IEP process and the members of the IEP team. When the child enters adult services for living and employment opportunities families are left the burden of finding, coordinating, and financing adult services. It is a time of learning new processes and developing new relationships. Instead of services being educationally based the range of what to monitor, or trust another one with, widens. Questions families have to constantly ask themselves:
Is my child in a safe, happy residential situation;
Do they have strong social networks;
Are they using their free time constructively;
What employment opportunities are available to them
Understanding and educating oneself about each of these aspects is vital for a successful adult living learning, and working situation.
Something for educators to consider: What supports/services are you familiar with that you can share with families? I have a packet of information I can go through with parents on a one to one basis to assist them in navigating the adult service world (disability services within the college setting). Feel free to give any family my name and email address. email@example.com.
Written by Pam Woelber - Family and Educator Coordinator