A Parent’s Perspective on Transition Services/Processes for Children with

A Parent’s Perspective on
Services/Processes for Children with
Special Health Care Needs and Family
What are Transitions?
 A “Transition” is any time a student moves from one
placement into another.
From Birth to 3 into Pre-School
From Pre-School into Kindergarten
From Kindergarten into Elementary School
From Elementary School into Middle School
From Middle School into High School
From High School into College or Post Secondary
From College/Post Secondary Education into Adult
Birth to Three
 Focuses on the family and how they
interact with the child
 Services primarily in the child’s home
 Services focus on training the parents
on how/what to do with the child
 Individual Family Support Plan (IFSP)
 In the natural environment and
 Encourages playtime for development
Family Concerns Moving from Birth-3
into Pre-School
 Pre-school more focused on the child and not
on the family
 Going outside of the home to “school”
 Receiving quality services
 Receiving enough services
 Trusting the staff
 Letting go of the routine and control they are
How Can WE Make This Transition
Easier on ALL Concerned?
 Service coordinator contacts all appropriate
“potential” receiving agencies that family wants
invited to a face-to-face transition planning meeting,
including one or more of the following:
School system
Early Head Start/Head Start
Child care, private schools and other community
Other agencies for support needed by family
 Begin talking about the transition way before it is to
Conduct transition planning with parent. Add plan to
the IFSP
How Can WE Make This Transition
Easier on ALL Concerned?
Provide packet of information on the child to
potential receiving agencies with parental
 Provide training for parents regarding
transition process and future service options.
Involve interagency partners in this training.
 Conduct 90 day face-to-face meeting with all
appropriate receiving programs to discuss:
How Can WE Make This Transition
Easier on ALL Concerned?
Updating of transition plan by interagency
partners with family to address:
Activities which will prepare the child and family
for the transition and
Strategies for sharing information among sending
and receiving agencies.
Develop an IEP to meet the child’s needs
Child’s program options from 3rd birth date
through remainder of school year
Pre-School/Head Start
 Less focused on the family, more on the child
 Move from an IFSP (at age 3) to an
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
 Moving into a creative curriculum
 Attending school with other children (both
students with and without disabilities)
 Focused play to learn new skills
 Group interactions
Transitioning into KindergartenFamily Concerns
 Kindergarten not so focused on the family
 Parents fear how their child will interact with
other children
 Not as much individualized attention to the
family-focused on the child
 Moving from home into school
 Parents will begin to see the developmental
differences between their child and others.
How Can WE Make This Transition
Easier on ALL Concerned?
 Provide parents with information on programs and/or
services including enrollment requirements and
 Provide transition related training to prepare staff
To follow appropriate procedures and
To support children and families in the transition
 Provide training for parents regarding transition
process and future options. Include interagency
partners in the training.
How Can WE Make This Transition
Easier on ALL Concerned?
 Plan activities to prepare child for the next
 Arrange visits to the new classroom for
children, families and staff from the sending
 Coordinate with other agencies to transfer
relevant records to next placement
 Release demographic information/screening
evaluation to the new class
Kindergarten/Head Start
 Beginning to move from “play” to more
academic activities.
Activities that will enable the student to read
and write.
Vocabulary building activities.
Listening activities.
 Beginning to see more structured activities
that require the student to be still and pay
 More student focused.
Transitioning from Kindergarten/Head
Start-Family Concerns
 More focus on the child and much less on the family.
 Noticeable gaps are beginning in achievement and
 IEP becoming more focused on academic skills.
 More demands are being placed on the child in the
Going to the bathroom independently
Sitting still and listening
Writing and reading activities
Will he/she be able to keep up?!
How Can WE Make This Transition
Easier on ALL Concerned?
 Begin talking about “Elementary School” early in the
school year.
 Discuss the change in structure with the student and
the parents.
 Encourage parents to increase their participation in
“homework” with the child in the evenings
Have a set time for home work
If the child has no homework, have them practice
reading or writing
 Develop a positive attitude toward school
How Can WE Make This Transition
Easier on ALL Concerned?
 Invite a first grade teacher to the child’s end of year
IEP so he/she can explain the expectations to the
 Have a first grade teacher come to the classroom
and explain the expectations to the students
 Let the students spend some time in the first grade
classroom the last week of school
 Have a back to school night for parents and students
before school begins to meet the teachers and learn
Elementary School
 Very student focused with little family
 Higher expectations
 More interaction with a variety of ages
of children
 Greater demands on the student
Family Concerns about Elementary
 The achievement gap widens
 Will my child be able to keep up with his/her peers?
 Will I be informed if my child falls behind?
 Will my child fit in with the other students?
 Will my child be able to remember the rules?
 Who will help me if there is a problem?
 Will my child receive the services he/she needs?
 What about all of the tests the students are required
to take?
 What about the bus ride???
How Can WE Make This Transition
Easier on ALL Concerned?
 Each year have a “move up” day where the students
and the parents can meet the new teachers
 Begin planning for the progression early in the school
 Keep the lines of communication open between the
school and parents
 Encourage parent involvement in the school
Parent volunteers
 Read in the classroom
 Tutor students
 Playground duty
 Lunchroom duty
Middle School
 Very student focused
 Greater academic expectations
 Greater social expectations
 A different teacher for each class
 Begin thinking about “real life”
 Focus on becoming more independent
 Requiring more independent assignments
 Begin making presentations to the class
Parents Transition Concerns for
Middle School
 Social Issues
 Smoking
 Drinking
 Dating
 Level of Support from teachers
 Level of Communication between school and home
 Opportunities for the parent to participate in school
 Extracurricular Activities
 Keeping up with school work
How Can WE Make This Transition
Easier on ALL Concerned?
 Begin discussions of Middle School expectations well
in advance
 Have a “Move Up” activity for both parents and
Both can go through the student’s schedule
Both can meet the teachers
Both can attend meetings and have their concerns
 Hold 5th grade IEP meetings at the Middle School
 Keep lines of communication open between school
and home
High School
 Focused on Student Responsibilities
 Motivation
 Initiation
 Study Skills
 High Expectations
 Very academically focused
 Rigorous curriculum
 Focused on test scores
 Encourages independent thinking
 Focused on Adult Life
 Encouraging participation in vocational activities
 Age 16 transition planning on the IEP
Parents Transition Concerns for High
 Keeping up with the curriculum
 Credits needed to graduate
 Scoring well on tests:
 Vocational-End of Course Exams
 Social Issues
 Peer influences
 Alcohol/drugs
 Dating
 Driving
 Having skills to do well upon graduation
How Can WE Make This Transition
Easier on ALL Concerned?
 Meetings for parents and students to discuss:
 Credits needed for graduation
 Scheduling
 Curriculum
 Testing procedures
 Expectations
 Peer influences and social issues
 Code of Conduct
 Progress reports
 Encourage parents to contact their student’s
counselor if/when they have questions or concerns
 Encourage continued communication between school
and home
Post Secondary Education/Activities
 Instruction
College Level
Vocational School
Vocational Rehabilitation
Trade School
Related Services
Community Experiences
Development of Employment
Other post-secondary adult living objectives
 Acquisition of daily living skills
 Functional vocational evaluation
Community College
Business College
Vocational Rehabilitation
Parents Concerns for Post Secondary
 Where will this occur?
 Can my young adult live independently?
 Will they be able to succeed in their chosen
 Who will assist them if necessary?
 How can we receive financial assistance?
 What happens if they do not succeed?
 What accommodations or modifications can
be made for them in the workplace?
How Can WE Make This Transition
Easier on ALL Concerned?
 Begin planning early!
 Involve ALL of the necessary players
Vocational Rehabilitation/Vocational School
School Counselors
Community Agencies
Social Security
Adult Services
How Can WE Make This Transition
Easier on ALL Concerned?
 Develop a plan where everyone knows their
 Encourage the parents and student to visit
the next placement
Have questions ready to ask
General Questions
Questions specific to student’s needs
Questions specific to parent’s needs
Parent-Educator Resource Centers
At any time in any of the transitions if you need:
A friendly ear
Contact your local PERC
38 across the state
Staffed with a parent of a student with a
disability and an educator
 WV Early Childhood Training Connections and
Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center:
National Center of Secondary Transition:
Job Accommodation Network:
Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST):
 National Dissemination Center for Children
with Disabilities: http://www.nichcy.org/
 Parent Education Resources:
 West Virginia Disability Resources:
 ConXtions: www.wvabe.org
 PACER Center: http://www.pacer.org/
 Betsy Peterson, Parent Coordinator
Office of Special Education
Building 6, Room 304
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305