Done with high school? What comes next?
Finishing high school is exciting. When your child is ready to exit school, there are many options to consider. Starting at the middle school level, students can begin working on transition plans for their future. Transition planning can and should begin earlier than middle school for some children. Depending on each student's abilities and interests, plans can start taking shape early.
Consider what your child's interests and goals are. Will your child be interested in going to college? Will they live independently? Will your child need assistance? What about transportation? How will they support themselves financially? Here are a few options to consider as you and your child begin working on transition from public school to adulthood.
Texas Parent to Parent's transition program - Pathways to Adulthood (PTA), offers an array of tools, services, trainings and information for parents, teens and young adults. They offer a wealth of information in both English and Spanish on their website for families and professionals. You can find resources and information on financial planning and assistance, personal networks, and transition action groups. Pathways to Adulthood offers one-day trainings all across the state that cover transition topics from legal and medical issues, available assistance programs, funding and social services. PTA also provides one-on-one emotional support through parent mentors and individualized advice for specific questions on resources via phone and email.
Online services and supports are also available and can be accessed 24 hours a day on the program website. Take advantage of their great Transition Inventory when you and your child are ready to get started on the planning process. Remember that you are not alone in your quest to better prepare your young adult for life after high school.
I realize that while I may be an educated parent, I can always learn something new to help my son and other families navigate the world of disabilities. I have learned so much in an online course called "Partners in Policymaking."
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Sam Allen has high-functioning autism. He was recently recognized as a Student Success Story at the Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education (TCASE) annual conference.