For many parents, the end of high school is a time of great joy and triumph, both for the parents and the children. Our society has ascribed a very specific set of expectations that come at the end of high school, and whether that means trade school, college, or entering the workforce the bottom line in is a more independent lifestyle.
But for some parents of children with learning disabilities, the post-graduation road map can be less clear. After all, only 10% of students with learning disabilities enrolled in college within two years of graduations, compared to 28% of students without learning disabilities.
If you’re a parent who is struggling to understand what comes next for you and your child, the best thing to do is to talk to you child’s special education teacher about what programs would be best for you to consider. You might find that your child has already begun their preparation at school, especially if they attend on of our nation’s private Aspergers schools, or another school that focuses on private education for special needs students.
In School Supplemental Education
Since 2004, the Individuals with Disabilities Education and Improvement Act has required that steps be taken to prepare your child for independent life and even advanced education.
Many private schools for special needs children, such as private Aspergers schools, will even provide supplemental education in addition to their state mandated curriculum.
These programs try to impart basic self-sufficiency skills such as food planning and preparation, laundry, cleaning, and fire safety in addition to imparting more marketable skills such an understanding of mass transit, consumer skills, and provide basic work experience work program and partnerships.
College Transition Programs
Colleges around the country are beginning to offer transition programs aimed at helping students with disabilities. In fact, the department of Education offers a grant for institutions who help to bridge the gap between high school and higher education, by focusing on academic enrichment, socialization, self-advocacy and independent living, and meaningful work experience.
If your child’s school does not offer enough in the way of employment preparation, it might be time to look for outside resources. Some assistance groups will offer programs that aim to help people with learning disabilities acquire gainful, satisfying employment. These programs can be especially helpful if they have a preexisting network of local companies who offer internships and employment to members of their pre-employment program. This networking is often the most important step to finding your child an understanding and rewarding work environment.
No matter who you are, senior year is a stressful time for parents. For the parents of children with disabilities, the stresses might be more unique, but you shouldn’t let them overwhelm you.
If you need more information about how to prepare your child for life after high school, or would like more information on private Aspergers schools and special needs education, contact the Deron School of New Jersey.