IEP Goals and Your Child’s Future
Just like the academics, the IEP goals should also show a progression toward independence for your child. Independence for each child will be different and since you know our child, you will know what that means. You also will have an idea of what you want for independence for your child. There are support groups and community organizations which you can tap into for assistance; they provide resources as well as support and encouragement. They are also an excellent place to chat with other parents – some who have been there, done that – and those parents are the ones you can benefit from in their experiences. You can also ask them to attend your IEP meeting (I believe 24 hrs notice) with you and the school/district should allow you to bring them as long as you inform the school ahead of the meeting that you will have others attend the meeting with you. (If you are denied their attendance, you can ask for Prior Written Notice from the school).
Not all of our young adults will attend college, but will chose employment as their path. As your young adult, ages 15-21, transitions into/in high school, you may want to involve Vocational Rehabilitation (VR/Voc Rehab) in your state. Voc Rehab offers pre-employment transition services such as career exploration counseling, work readiness training, community-based work experiences, and self-advocacy. Voc Rehab will work on employment and independence in employment for your young adult.
Goals are just the beginning for your child as they transition from elementary school to middle and high school and on to college or employment. Give them a good start and understand the IEP and the goals. Your child’s future depends on it!
Doreen Franklin is a Special Education Consultant & Private Tutor. She assists families with children with special needs with their IEPs. Doreen & her husband adopted two daughters; both are special needs. Doreen homeschooled their older daughter and tutors children privately.