Transitions and changes are hard. This is especially true when changes are for families who have loved ones in special education. After receiving educational supports from grades K-12, what does life look like for your child post graduation? This journey and path for everyone looks different and can be overwhelming. The most important first step is sitting down with your child and discussing with them what their hopes and dreams are. Do they want the college experience? Is technical school the right fit? Is living from home the right move during this transition period? Here are some tips and guidance from iElevate that may help you get started.
College (2 or 4 year Diploma) Track:
If your child graduated with a High School diploma and is looking to attend a 2 or 4 year degree then click here to read our previous blog post about accommodations.
In addition to accommodations, some schools have programs specifically designed for students on the Autism Spectrum. These programs are for students who are diploma bound without curriculum modifications.
Here are some programs:
*We recommend that you reach out to the director of each program to discuss options and how to apply.
ACE! (Ohio State University)
Mosaic (University of Tennessee Chattanooga)
Project Case (Texas Tech University)
Steps Program (Virginia Tech)
Click here for more schools with similar programs
College (Independence/ Life Skill/ Certificate) Track:
If your child graduated with a certificate from high school and wants the college experience, the programs below may be a great fit. It is important to note that these programs range in levels of supports/student autonomy. We recommend that you reach out to the program directors to find a program that is a best fit for your child.
Clemson Life: “The ClemsonLIFE Program offers a two-year Basic Program that incorporates functional academics, independent living, employment, social/leisure skills, and health/wellness skills in a public university setting with the goal of producing self-sufficient young adults. Additionally, the Clemson LIFE Program offers a two-year Advanced Program for students that have demonstrated the ability to safely live independently, sustain employment, and socially integrate during the Basic Program. The Advanced Program progresses with an emphasis on workplace experience, community integration, and independent living with transitionally reduced supports.”
Carolina Life: “An inclusive certificate college program for students with diverse learning needs.”
College of Charleston REACH Program: “The REACH Program at the College of Charleston is a four-year, fully inclusive certificate program for students with mild intellectual and/or developmental disabilities that promotes the advancement of knowledge and skill in the following areas: Academics, Socialization, Independent Living, and Career Development”
Straight Into Workforce:
This can be daunting for anyone so we recommend that you seek assistance from an advocate in your local vocational rehabilitation center or with a life coach (Danielle Feerst).
Click here for South Carolina’s Vocational Rehabilitation Website
We know that you want what is best for your child and we know that you want them to reach their full potential. If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s journey for transitioning, please reach out to Danielle Feerst OTR/L by clicking here to book a free 30 minute consultation. She has years of experience working with young adults transitioning who live with a wide range of learning differences. Danielle can work with your child to achieve independence, develop and maintain meaningful friendships and more depending on your child's personal goals/needs. In addition, you can connect with us on our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you have any ideas for future blog posts, feel free to message us on any of our social media accounts or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Written by Madison Gies, Peer Mentor/Coach, OTDS