Every individual takes important steps moving from childhood through the teens to young adulthood. There are lessons to be learned, events to prepare for and decisions to be made. In childhood and early adolescence, most students rely on their families or caregivers to meet their needs and make important decisions. As time progresses, increased independence becomes the goal of the student and the parents. This is not always a simple path. In some students’ lives, there are factors that require increased preparation to enable a successful transition from high-school to the path they choose to take, whether that is post-secondary education (college), vocational training, and/or community participation.
Students that have special educational needs are assisted with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or are provided accommodations in school by a Section 504 Plan (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973). At age 16 (14 in some states), the IEP begins to address transition services, and the student, family and IEP team work together to develop a plan to assist the student to successfully transition from high school. Students with special health care needs (SHCN) may or may not have an IEP. However, they need
- What does a student need to prepare for successful transition?
Meeting high-school graduation requirements,
Preparing for post-secondary education/vocational training.
- Health care independence:
Having a good understanding of medical condition,
Having a good understanding of health insurance coverage necessary,
Making medical appointments,
Filling prescriptions and understanding safety precautions,
Being able to describe health care needs when necessary.
- Healthy choices in daily life:
Cleanliness and safety,
Relationships and sexuality,
Understanding potential effects of recreational drugs/alcohol on health conditions.
- Employment opportunities:
Completing assessments and investigating what the student wants to pursue,
Contacting appropriate agencies and/or employers to make the connections.
- Community participation:
Contacting appropriate organizations and agencies that provide social opportunities for students with SHCN who will not be employed or seek post-secondary education, due to their functional limitations.
- Living arrangements:
Living in a dormitory at post-secondary education location,
Living with others (family, significant other),
Living in a supported community/group home.
- Transportation arrangements:
Driving independently (standard automobile or adaptive vehicle for drivers with disabilities),
Using public transportation,
Using community services,
Being transported by family and friends.
- Who is involved with the student in the EdHCT plan?
In EdHCT, every student has a group of stakeholders that are involved in his or her life. This group is comprised of people with different levels of education and background. Each student’s team of stakeholders has a different make-up, but include many of the following individuals: the student, the family/caregivers/guardians, advocates, teachers/paraprofessionals (Exceptional Student Education [ESE], general education), IEP team, related services, health care team (physician, school nurse, specialists), school administrators, potential members (to include potential colleges, employers, community assistance [e.g., Vocational Rehabilitation]), friends and peers.
Autism After 16 is a website that provides information regarding adults with autism, to provide important knowledge to them and their families. As the website indicates, “Our intention here is to try to help adults with ASD and their families make sense of what’s out there. Our big focus out of the gate will be Transition issues, since so many of you are struggling with Transition right now” (Autism After 16, 2016).
Project 10 Transition Education Network works with Florida school districts to address secondary transition services to students for successful post-school outcomes. Information provided includes health and safety, independent living, student-focused planning, requesting accommodations and more than 50 other topics.
Got Transition/Center for Health Care Transition Improvement is a website full of information and resources to assist with transition from pediatric to adult health care, in order to educate youth, their families and health care professionals regarding that transition planning.
Autism After 16. (2016). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.autismafter16.com/content/about-us
Got Transition.org. (2014-2016). About Got Transition. Retrieved from http://www.gottransition.org/about/index.cfm#contact
Lollar, D. (2010). Launching into Adulthood. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
Sitlington, P., Neubert, D., & Clark, G. (2010). Transition education and services for students with disabilities (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Project 10 Transition Education Network. (2016). Home. Retrieved from http://project10.info/
(Prepared by K. Harris, for UF Class, EEX 6788, Spring 2016)