Beginning Your Transition Program—Parent Input


Federal transition law mandates that parents be part of the transition team. In fact, a major section of the mandates standards are dedicated to family involvement with a student’s transition.


Why “Family Involvement”?


And, there’s good reason for this: once a student leaves the safety of high school, their main advocate and teacher is the parent. They are the ones who determine where the student will go after high school—trade school, community college, a job, or a sheltered environment. They are the ones who must coordinate and oversee their child’s progress in the “real world.” Therefore, it just makes sense to actively include them in any transition program so that they are ready and able to pick up the ball and run with it once you have passed the student out of your program.


So, how do I begin?


But, how do you meet all the academic needs of your students, all the federal mandates of transition, and still accommodate parents’ needs and expectations?


The attached Parent Priority List allows families to suggest what topics/skills they believe are important for their child’s success. An identical Student Priority List allows the student themselves to tell you what they believe they need to learn. By incorporating both lists into the initial assessment of student’s skills/interests/weaknesses/and strengths, teachers can create a cohesive and comprehensive program that honors all stakeholder’s visions of what skills the student should carry out into the world.


Of course, I’d love you to use Transition 2 Life or Daily Living Skills to provide transition services. This form is linked to the curricula offered in Daily Living Skills and walks teachers through assessment to specific workbooks with federal mandate standards and written IEP goals. But, you are also free to use this form for any program you might currently be using.


Make it a family affair


However you set up your program, be sure to involve the family in the decision-making. It is the law, and it honors all members of the transition team.


For more help


If this guide helps you organize, you may want to check out the other workbooks and tools available through the Daily Living Skills program. Sixty different workbooks meet federal guidelines for transition services and are written on a 3rd/4th grade level for ease of use with students with special needs. Access “Doing the Laundry” for free here.


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