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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Transition to Adulthood

Photo Credit: bathnes.gov.uk
Last night we had a Person Centered Planning meeting here at our house for Red.  The purpose of the meeting is to do personal goal setting alongside the mentors in Red's life.  He decides who to invite to these meetings.  He actually schedules it with his facilitator and sends out the electronic invitations to everyone.  He also follows up with them days prior to the meeting to confirm if they will attend.

We have also made him responsible for shopping for and preparing a snack for his guests.  The snack last night was fresh grapes, oranges, apples and brownie bites.

Our crowd last night consisted of myself, Red, his Vocational Training teacher from the high school, his Pastor, and our facilitator, who just happens to be the head Transition Coordinator for our school district, and the Vice Principle of the 18 plus Transition Program, which he will be entering into as of January.

Yes.  Red will complete his high school credits at the end of this week! As of now, he will walk the stage with his peers in the graduation in June of 2014.  We will decide between now and then whether or not to give him his diploma at that time, and then transition him to the Department of Rehabilitative Services.  DARS will assist him and hopefully help pay for, career training/college or a certification program.  Otherwise, he can continue to receive adult transition services through the school district up until the age of 22.

He is extremely talented in video production, and editing.  He has in fact, developed his own business and has been hired to make videos and photo montages for friends, family, and even a few professional clients.  He earned a pretty penny just this last weekend, putting together a photo montage for a "word-of-mouth" client of an anniversary vacation, complete with appropriate music.

We hope that he will pursue movie/video editing as a career.  However, he still has quite a bit of growing and maturing to do before we feel that he will be ready for college level classes, and fully developing his business.

The two goals that we set last night were as follows...

1) Red will pursue getting his drivers license.

  • He will gather information (along with his vocational teacher) about a course that he can take over the Christmas Break
  • He will complete the course over the break.
  • He will work with Dad to obtain a driving permit in January 
  • He will work with Mom to get an evaluation by St. David's Driving program for special needs to determine any special needs or concerns to do with his disability and driving, i.e. reaction time, ability to focus, fear of being pulled over, etc. 
  • Depending on results ...move forward with obtaining license. 
2) Red will complete high school credits and prepare for transition into Self-20 Adult Transition program through the school district.  

  • Work with Vocational Coach to obtain either employment or an adult volunteer position in the first 2 weeks of January.
  • Work with staff to figure out new schedule 
  • High school staff will work to complete a visual transition schedule for him to follow.  
The Self-20 program is a transition to adulthood service that the school district offers to those with disabilities.  They meet on the local community college campus as well as a few other places in the community to work on independent living (transportation, cooking, budgeting, how to be a good roommate, etc.  They also work on vocation training, (job coaching, paid employment or adult volunteer) and social skills. 

The program is from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m. Monday-Friday.  After 1 p.m., they must work or volunteer.  He is hoping to be hired by the YMCA as an After School Counselor.  He interviewed with them and is supposed to hear back after Christmas.  As a back up plan, if he doesn't get hired, he will volunteer at a Senior Living facility, assisting the Activities Coordinator with games, crafts and parties. 

My hope is that this program will give him some time to mature before beginning college classes.  He needs a little time and space between college and high school.  Especially, since he was not much of a self-starter in high school.  He has been great in self-starting his video knowledge and training, getting a mentor in the field and building a portfolio of work.  

We are leaning towards him getting a certification in Video Technology through the Community College and if by chance he matures and is ready to get a degree in this field, we will support him in that.  Only time will tell...how far he will go.  

I hope he will reach for the stars! 

*Please contact me via e-mail if you are interested in hiring Red to do video editing or photo montages for your family or business.  He does have a web-site with his portfolio.  Only serious inquires please.

For more information on Learning Disabilities and The Law: After High School
Click here The Learning Disabilities Association of America.

Or you should contact Special Education Services in your local school district or your State Department of Education.