First, what does post secondary transition mean? Post secondary transition is the transition from school and school provided services for your child to graduation and life without school and school provided services. Unlike, school services, as an adult with disabilities you are not entitled to services. And, if needed it’s on the family to navigate or at least know where to go to find help. This is why it is SO VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO PUT THIS OFF!!!!! If you put this off until after graduation, It is a lot to figure out with no help.
IDEA provides direction for the district on how to begin transition and how they should help guide the families. In Ohio, your child's IEP must begin to address post second transition when your child is turning 14. But, just like you have to advocate for the services your child needs, you must advocate for the school to provide appropriate transition services for your child. And, the advocating starts now.
How do you start now? Use the approach of backwards planning, you think what does my child want after he/she graduates and what he/she need to get there. You’ll find that you are advocating for more individualized IEP goals and services much sooner with better results.
I am including two links, one is a video “5 Things To Know About Secondary Transition – Or Transition Out of High School, 5 Things to Know: Secondary Transition | Department of Developmental Disabilities (ohio.gov). This is a 3 minute video packed with good information to think about and consider.
The second link is a Secondary Transition Roadmap, Secondary Transition Roadmap for Families with children with Disabilities, ages 3-21 (ohio.gov) Print it out, read it before IEP meetings. Figure out where you are on the transition map. It will guide you on questions and things to consider that will help you be even more prepared for your next IEP meeting.
Remember, it is never too soon to start thinking about your child’s transition from school to adult life. Because, a high school diploma should be the penultimate goal for your child, but a happy, fulfilled life should be the ultimate goal.