4 Ways Parents Can Maximize Their Role in Transition
As your child with autism approaches adulthood, your role as a parent/caregiver/family member will become more emphasized and vital.
As if it isn’t already! But you will be the one on the ground to help when your child leaves school.
Unfortunately, the rest of your IEP team won’t be there to help then.
But, while you have them and some time before graduation, here are some tips to enhance your role during transition, transition planning, and planning for adulthood.
Here are 4 specific tips that can help you make the most of your role as a parent and partner - I want to emphasize that too - during transition planning.
Big changes are up ahead, and we need you ready too!
Strengthen your understanding of your child’s disability + what they want to achieve + the supports they may need in their next steps in adulthood.
This is where you will find out about what your child needs to pursue their postsecondary education, employment, and independent living goals.
During IEP meetings, share what what you know about your child’s strengths, interests, and needs.
It’s also good to know where they stand on “soft skills” too.
As your child has been receiving special education services it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I mention that there is a lot of paperwork.
Save any and all paperwork when it comes to the transition planning process.
For example, you will want to keep copies of current and past IEP documents, assessment scores, evaluations from Vocational Rehabilitation, etc.
Maintain high expectations of your child.
You may have high expectations that your child can achieve their goals and have the capacity to do so many things in their lives as an adult.
As you advocate during IEP and transition planning meetings, this will be reflected and modeled to the team.
Build self-confidence and self-determination with your child.
I’ll also say that having high expectations of your child will also translate to them.
They are more likely to feel self-confident and practice independent living skills with that support behind them.
Also in terms of the IEP and transition planning meetings, find ways to support their self-determination and engagement.
Many students have created scripts and made a video or powerpoint to share their strengths, interests, and goals.
There is so much research on the need for adolescents with autism to become more involved in their IEP and transition goals, and you are the ones as their partners in transition to support them in this safe environment.