By: Jessica Oswald, Occupational Therapist
Parents wonder about their children’s futures at a very early age. Questions they ask may include:
Parents of children with medical diagnoses or disabilities consider many of these same questions, but also find themselves asking:
Early transitional planning can help answer some of these difficult questions and potentially reduce some of the anxiety parents feel about their child’s adult future. The goal of transitional planning is to prepare for time at which primary caregivers are no longer available. Federal law requires public schools to begin transitional planning by age 16 for children on an Individual Education Program (IEP), but can begin sooner than that if appropriate.
TRANSITIONAL PLANNING MAY INCLUDE:
Therapists (Speech, Occupational, Physical, Counseling) help to prepare youth for these life transitions and independent living when possible. Collaborate with families is paramount in determining priorities as the child ages.
SKILLS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS TARGET FOR TRANSITION INCLUDE:
SKILLS SPEECH THERAPISTS TARGET FOR TRANSITION INCLUDE:
SKILLS PHYSICAL THERAPISTS TARGET FOR TRANSITION INCLUDE:
Counseling can also be vital in transitional planning. Youth may require additional support for managing emotions. Families often benefit from counseling in an effort to manage many things at once. Counselors can also be instrumental in helping to identify additional community supports and resources.
If you’d like more information on transitional planning, please collaborate with your child’s therapist. You may also contact Family Voices of North Dakota at 701-527-2889 or their website: www.fvnd.org