Special needs require an effective transition program for making the process of change smooth and free of worries. It is important to find the right transition program according to the needs of an adult because only then it can provide fruitful results. With a good transition program, students can have better options for employment in the future, and they can raise the overall quality of their lives. It remains a bit of a challenge to find the right transition program though. In this article, we have discussed eight tips for finding the right transition program.
One of these transition programs is CTP (Comprehensive Transition and Post-Secondary). Although it is relatively new due to its effectiveness, it has gained popularity since its launch. Other than CTP, some community-based transition programs also help adults with special needs in smooth integration with the new life. Whether you pick CTP or any other program, it is important to keep these tips in mind to ensure effectiveness.
1. Start Early
Although going to college is not something that happens out of the blue yet many students don’t start looking for one until their junior year, and sometimes until their senior year. For a person with special needs, this is too late to look for a transition program with limited choices for a student with disabilities.
It is difficult to get into some transition programs because of their competitiveness. While some programs accept only half of the applicants, few programs are too small scale accepting only a few students. By starting early, you can figure out if there are specific skills you ought to learn before joining one of these programs. You can make arrangements accordingly.
2. Do your homework
Community-based programs and college-based transition programs are different in nature. The procedure for arranging funds is different. Moreover, the time required to have access to the arranged funds also varies. This is not something you can put off till the eleventh hour because you need a two-year duration for arranging and getting access to the funds for the transition program.
3. Begin with an online search
The best part about the internet is that you can get all the required information for a particular query without leaving your home. So, instead of getting out and signing up for various programs, we suggest you do an online search to know about the transitions programs available. You can seek help from portals like Thinkcollege.net that help families locate college options for students with special needs. Information about scholarships is available at George Washington University’s Health Resource Center.
4. Talk to other families having special needs children
You can seek help and guidance from families who have older special needs children. They have gone through the process before you. They can share valuable insight about the programs and other considerations. You can benefit from their experience and avoid the hassle. Some platforms that can help you connect with these families can be your child’s school, non-profit organizations, or SEPTA (Special Education Parent Teacher Association). You can tell them about your child’s special needs, and they can connect with you a family who had the same challenge in their lives.
5. Consult with school district personnel
Direct consultation with counselors, transition coordinators, and the special education director or teachers can help and guide you significantly in finding the right transition program. They can provide you with valuable information such as where their special education students went after leaving the district, or their recommendations based on your needs and requirements.
6. Fairs and disability conferences
Going to fairs and conferences for special needs children is significantly helpful because they bring together all operators in one place. Parents can know about great programs and facilities offering those programs. They can meet other families and specialists who can guide them in finding a good adult transition program. Compared to these fairs, other academic conferences are less helpful in finding you the right programs.
7. Ask program representatives
After narrowing down to a few possibilities, get to know about them in detail and ask questions about the duration for which the program has existed, the number of students they have, percentage of employed graduates, and so on.
8. Involve your student in every step.
You might be looking at a great adult transition program but it is critically important to keep the student involved at every step so that they don’t feel it was imposed on them. Students might reject a perfect transition program only because they don’t feel they were asked about it.
So, when you are looking for a program, engage them with you. Explore programs together, visit open houses together, encourage them to ask questions which are their area of concern.
Picking an adult transition program is a big decision. There are a lot of factors involved in it. To make the process hassle-free and smooth, talk to our team of experts. We can assist you in finding the perfect place and after school program for special needs. For the best after-school programs in Oakland, give us a call now.