For the seven years Mr. Longoria has taught special education at Central High School, he has seen many students make the transition to employment or further education. He always believed himself to be somebody who did student-centered planning just by having some of his students attend their individualized education program or IEP meetings. Recently, however, Mr. Longoria attended a training on student-centered transition planning, and he now recognizes his belief as a common misconception. He has become convinced that, with assistance, some of his students could take on a more prominent role in their IEP meetings and the overall planning process.
This said, Mr. Longoria is a bit skeptical that all of his students could handle this added responsibility. In particular, he wonders about two of his students, Donzaleigh and Jeremy.
Donzaleigh is an eleventh grader with a mild learning disability in reading and an articulation disorder. She has strong math and organizational skills and wants to be a fashion designer when she leaves school. Mr. Longoria knows that Donzaleigh does not like to initiate conversation or talk in front of groups because of her articulation disorder. Because of this, he anticipates that she would find addressing a group of adults in her IEP meeting an uncomfortable experience.
Jeremy is a ninth grader who has an intellectual disability. When he gets out of school, Jeremy wants to work with animals. Though he enjoys school, he struggles in most academic subjects. Jeremy loves socializing with his peers and teachers alike and seems unaware that he even has a disability that requires supports. Mr. Longoria knows that Jeremy has a difficult time staying focused and does not have much interest in talking about school subjects. He further wonders how Jeremy will react when the IEP team starts discussing his disability.
Mr. Longoria wonders whether Donzaleigh and Jeremy have the skills to be active participants in the transition planning process. He further begins to question what supports need to be in place to facilitate their participation.
Here is your Challenge:
What is student-centered transition planning?
What are some ways to involve students in student-centered transition planning?
How can teachers successfully implement student-centered transition planning?