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What happens after graduation from high school?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is geared toward this moment. One of the goals of education is to create productive members of society, including people with mild to severe disabilities. If your child is college bound:

  • You can get accommodations through college disability services. Each college should be able to supply you with a list of the accommodations they offer.
  • If your child requires more than the college offers, you can request it from that college or seek a college that offers the accommodations your child needs.
  • There are some colleges that specialize in helping students who need more than average support and accommodations.

Students with learning disabilities who qualify can stay in the public school system through age 21. This allows extra time for developing job skills and life skills.

  • IDEA provides for Transition Planning that must begin at age 14. The last few years of high school are spent developing job skills students can use to work if they are able or life skills to live independently or in a group home setting.
  • Once your child graduates, you are often on your own. In the transition out of high school, the schools work with local governmental organizations to train these graduates. There is support for this process but ultimately, your child has to find his or her own job and work to hold the job.
  • Communication skills are important for success in adult life. Children with apraxia of speech may take years to develop communication skills, whether speaking or using an AAC device. If your child is not progressing in communication in school, do what is necessary to get your school to work on communication skills. That is a battle that needs to be won as early as possible in the school setting.

By graduation, your child should have adopted some form of communication that others can understand. If your child has severe disabilities, this may include a very limited vocabulary but should still be functional. Even merely functional communication can go a long way toward independence.

This post is an excerpt from my upcoming book: The Special Needs Homemaker Series: Guide to Apraxia of Speech

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