I am a strong believer that parents and families are the key to ensuring that their children have the education and services they need in order to have meaningful and successful adult lives. As part of this responsibility, we often have the heavy burden of seeking out knowledge to inform ourselves and to share with practitioners. The Internet contains a wealth of resources, but it can be overwhelming. Often so overwhelming that we just shut down.
The Paths to Transition Website was created to help families readily find the information they need to support seamless transition and improve post-secondary outcomes for their children. My hope is that this site will provide you with an arsenal of resources that you can use to develop strategies that are right for your child, wherever they are along their own transition journey.
Like any website, it will take some work from you as a parent, but will be well worth your efforts. For example, we typically think of employment as gainful, paid employment, but that may not always be the case. Here is a great example from a parent describing how she has found meaningful volunteer employment for her son in their community: Volunteer Activity: Recycling Cans
Here, another parent shares information about tools for assistive technology that supported her son throughout his school years and beyond: Planning for Assistive Technology Needs
As you peruse the site, you will find resources on best practices and skills for success related to community involvement, careers, and college, organized into the following four sections.
Paths to Transition: This is the homepage. It provides an overview of the site.
Getting Started: Here you will find guidance on student-driven transition and how to begin preparing for transition early in life. Resources include suggested timelines, assessment and planning tools, and sample forms.
Preparing for Work: This includes information about how to support your child by engaging him or her in tasks and chores at home that build self-confidence and self-determination. If we, as parents, do not set the bar high, no one else will. Resources also address career exploration, job development, volunteering, and support teams.
Independent Living: Developing the skills needed to live as independently as possible is something that should be incorporated in every child’s life and educational program. The resources in this section include information about various levels of independent living, housing options, and transition portfolios (a tool to organize information about students during their transition years).
By Patti McGowan