How Can I Support My Child’s Transition into Adulthood?
When your child turns 14, the individualized education program (IEP) team increases planning with a focus on preparing for his or her transition into adult life. At age 14, your child will start to receive official invitations to join the IEP meetings. However, your child is welcome to attend their IEP meetings at any age. Attendance prior to age 18 is at parent discretion. Your child’s team may want to consider including a portfolio of your child’s preferences, interests, needs, and strengths (PINS) in the years before he or she turns 14 as part of the IEP information. A portfolio of PINS will give the team a starting point for transition planning. Additionally, your school team may want to perform an Age Appropriate Transition Assessment (AATA) before age 14 so that your child’s current needs for adult skill development can be identified and addressed. For more information on AATA, please visit the OCALI Lifespan Transition Center. Transition meetings are good opportunities for your child to start earnestly thinking about and planning for his or her future.
The transition planning process opens lots of opportunities for your child to practice independence. This is a great time for your child to start working on using his or her own voice and assertiveness for self-advocacy. It is also a time to practice independence across his/her entire day. For example, they could complete some of the following tasks:
- Charging and keeping track of assistive technology (AT) devices;
- Getting up independently for school;
- Making and managing doctor appointments; and
- Speaking directly to doctors and teachers about any challenges and needs he or she may have.
A teacher of the deaf (TOD) or other school professionals (based on individual needs) can work with your family to help your child learn transition skills. There are many transition resources on both the OCALI Lifespan Transition Center’s website and Ohio’s Employment First website. As your child ages out of school aged programs Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) can be a valuable partner you’re your school team when planning for employment experiences and learning job skills.