Special Ed Life After High School

Special Ed Life After High School

High school graduations; the celebrations; the happiness of knowing your child “finally” made it…

Then a few weeks later, so many questions enter your mind as the parent:

  • “What’s next?”
  • “Where did the time go?”
  • “What’s the plan for their future?”
  • “How will my child reach their goal in life?”

Then the thought and realization sink in knowing it’s all on their plate now.

Going to college or entering the workforce falls on them. Your adult child must know and understand how to advocate for themselves and know that mommy or daddy can’t be that “voice” they always had in school.

Special Ed Life After High School – The Transition

Life after high school can be stressful for both the student and the parent.

As a parent, it is essential to know and understand that when your child reaches the age of 18, they are considered a “legal” adult whether you, as a parent, agree with it or not.

Knowing this before graduation time is key to help your child be successful in life after high school. There are many ways in which you, as the parent, can prepare your son/daughter for the transition:

1: People Skills

This is a needed skill in everyday life. Your child needs to know how to effectively communicate with others in everyday conversations ranging from

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  • Work Experiences
  • College Experiences
  • Medical Appointments
  • Daily Conversations With Peers, Family, And Friends

Parents have a major impact on preparing their child for relationship success.

This can be accomplished through modeling how people skills “look.” This is done in a communicative, cooperative, fight-free manner.

2: Preparing For Work

Preparing for the workforce is a much-needed skill in society today, but one that is sometimes forgotten.

Students need to know how to maintain a job to be financially sound in their lives. Some ways a parent can help their child prepare for a job is by allowing them those opportunities in regards to small money-making activities.

This can include;

  • An Internship
  • Part-Time Employment
  • Volunteer Opportunities

These activities allow the child to gain experience in reporting to a “job” each day at a certain time and how to fulfill responsibilities set forth by their supervisor.

Another way in which parents can prepare their child for work is to minimize the traditional allowance.

When a parent gives an allowance, it teaches their child to expect a financial handout instead of teaching them to work and spend their own money.

As the saying goes, “money motivates.” Progress in the workforce each day and/or week motivates because the child will know there is a reward at the end….MONEY.

3: Preparing For College:

This is definitely the most challenging of all because of all the college choices out there.

Some include;

  • 2-Year Or community College
  • Four-Year College Or University
  • In-State Tuition
  • Out Of State Tuition
  • A Program Of Study-Major
  • Financial Requirements

When looking at all of this, it is vital as a parent to help your child search and explore all the various options available to them.

For children that need a little extra help in preparing for this chapter, Special Education Tutoring can most certainly assist.

It is crucial to have real-life conservations about the differences and which is the best for your adult child. Having those real-life conservations, helps your child to have a better understanding of how life works after high school.

This is also the time to explain how transitioning to college is different than high school because it is his/her responsibility to attend class and complete assignments. This is also a great time to explain how transitioning to college is a first step in transitioning to adulthood.




Picture of Amanda Wagoner, MAT

Amanda Wagoner, MAT

One comment

  1. I myself had a learning disability I left High School reading at 3rd grade level and I could never go to college or any form of higher education I couldn’t fill out a job application I knew I couldn’t hold down a job and being bullied didn’t help I left high school with a certificate of completion I had a lot of barriers in my life

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