Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's Never Too Early to Think About IEP Transition Goals and Objectives

Parents that attend an annual IEP are very familiar with IEP Goals and Objectives as they are written and modified each year. When kids are young, little time is spent thinking about the later years like high school. But as they get older, often overlooked aspects of the IEP Process are IEP Transition Goals and Objectives.



IEP Transition Goals and Objectives don't usually come into play until high school, but sometimes that can be too late.

Students will transition from elementary school to middle school or junior high and this is a great time to "practice" or prepare for the transition from high school to college or adult life.

We recently attended a Transition IEP for the senior year of high school and it was impressive. Maybe we got lucky but the school was very involved in all aspects of the transition, from college placement tests to financial aid to possibilities for work, trade school and college.

It's scary for all parents to know that their child will be leaving home for the first time. We worry throughout their life about everything but when the day comes when they actually leave it's a completely different feeling altogether.

Begin thinking about the transition early and prepare for everything. Pay attention to special interests, passions, and what really turns them on. Many people never find their true passion to follow in life but for kids with learning disabilities it's important to prepare them for every possibility.

Guide them into post-high school but allow them to follow, or discover, something that matters to them. Provide plenty of support and understand that even something that may sound outrageous or unconventional is okay to pursue if they are passionate about it.

Topics like employment, independent living, college, and socialization aren't so frightening if you plan early and begin thinking about them while there is time prepare.