Families

This page provides families with objectives, activities, and resources needed to assist those in their family who have a disability to grow themselves and learn various skills needed to advocate for themselves and accomplish their goals. Objectives, activities, and resources are grouped together by five main areas: Go for a SPIN, Driver's Seat, Road to Work, Road to College, and Road to Community Living.


Go for a SPIN

(Strengths, Preferences, Interests, Needs)

Objectives, activities, and resources that guide teachers in formal and informal transition assessments with students and families to reflect individualized goals during and after school

Objectives and Activities to begin in Middle School

OBJECTIVE: Work with your son/daughter’s support team to fill out information needed to gather strengths, preferences, interests, and needs to help write individualized transition goals.

Activities


  • Reflect with your child on their strengths and weaknesses

  • Help them recognize what areas they need help in

  • Work with those around you to help your child make connections

  • Have conversations about what they want to do, not what you want them to do

Objectives and Activities to begin in High School

OBJECTIVE: Work with your son/daughter’s support team to fill out information needed to gather strengths, preferences, interests, and needs to help write individualized transition goals.

Activities


  • Reflect with your child on their strengths and weaknesses

  • Help them recognize what areas they need help in

  • Work with those around you to help your child make connections

  • Have conversations about what they want to do, not what you want them to do

Driver’s Seat

Objectives, activities, and resources focused on what students can do to take charge of future goals and make appropriate plans during and after high school

Objectives and Activities to begin in Middle School

OBJECTIVE: Using local community resources, connect with other support systems during school functions such as workshops and transition fairs.

Activities


  • Go to transition workshops at the school

  • Get involved in the classroom and community activities at your son/daughter’s school

  • Network with other families who have recently completed high school and are working or living in their communities

  • Help talk through decisions with your son/daughter and encourage new interests and activities that lead to life-long benefits and opportunities

  • Work with your son/daughter’s teacher to develop a communication system that gives you opportunities for sharing goals


OBJECTIVE: Work with your son/daughter and teachers to create goals that are understandable and individualized for your child’s future.

Activities


  • Learn word meanings related to transition planning

  • Work with the teachers to develop a transition plan including goals for your son or daughter with timelines and supports needed for success

  • Make sure the IEP includes a statement about your son or daughter’s needs, preferences and interests, and appropriate course(s) of study.

  • Determine eligibility and networking adult services

  • Talk to different agencies and invite them to attend your son/daughter’s IEP meetings

OBJECTIVE: Using strategies or teacher resources, foster greater independence and opportunities with your son/daughter in problem solving, self-advocacy, time management, and organizational skills.

Activities


  • Help your son/daughter find ways to compensate for needs such as asking for assistance or using a mobile app

  • Teach your son/daughter time management and organizational strategies

  • Share with or model with your son/daughter how you solve problems

  • Identify effective assistive technology for your son/daughter to use during school, work, or in the home

  • Model appropriate behavior at home and in social situations



OBJECTIVE: Work with your son/daughter and teacher to attend and lend support as they lead IEP meetings and give input on goals

Activities


  • Have your son/daughter attend IEP meetings

  • If you or your son/daughter cannot attend the IEP meeting, make sure needs, preferences, and interests are discussed

  • Support your child actively leading IEP meetings


OBJECTIVE: With support from teachers, talk to your son/daughter about strengths and weaknesses and how to seek decision making assistance across classroom and community settings.

Activities


  • Help your child speak up for themselves

  • Talk with your son/daughter openly about their strengths and weaknesses

  • Talk with your son/daughter about decisions they are capable of handling

  • Provide opportunities to make choices and decisions, to explore and take risks, and to learn from experiences of success and failure

  • Encourage and provide your son/daughter opportunities to self-regulate and self-manage his/her day to day actions


Objectives and Activities to begin in High School

OBJECTIVE: Work with teachers and your son/daughter on short and long term goals that are individualized for work, school, and living as independently as possible during and after high school.

Activities


  • Help your son/daughter to break long term goals into short term objectives

  • Make a long-term plan with your son/daughter for school, work, and living in your community

  • Talk to your son/daughter about the plans/goals they have after graduation

  • Look at IEP goals to make sure they are relevant to life after high school

  • With the team, decide how your son/daughter will exit school

  • Review and revise if needed how your son/daughter will exit school

OBJECTIVE: Using available teacher, internet, and community resources, help your son/daughter with medical care, financial planning, guardianship, and being an active citizen in the community.

Activities


  • Think about the programs and support needed when the student leaves school

  • Find a doctor and a dentist for your son/daughter

  • Take your son/daughter to get an identification card at the local DMV

  • Understand eligibility requirements needed for Social Security Income and special needs trust

  • Teach your son/daughter about Miranda rights

  • Decide if guardianship is needed for your son/daughter before age 18 and consider options for full guardianship

  • Register men for Selective Service



OBJECTIVE: Work with your son/daughter and teacher to attend and give support as they lead IEP meetings, give input on goals, and help write the Summary of Performance (SOP).

Activities


  • Have your son/daughter attend IEP meetings

  • If you or your son/daughter cannot attend the IEP meeting, make sure needs, preferences, and interests are discussed

  • Support your child actively leading the IEP meetings

  • Understand your son/daughter’s IEP and how it promotes independence

  • Help your son/daughter write the Summary of Performance (SOP)


OBJECTIVE: Using role play opportunities, provide opportunities for practicing appropriate social skills and decision making.

Activities

  • Provide opportunities for your son/daughter to make choices and decisions, to explore and take risks, and to learn from success and failure

  • Model appropriate behavior at home and in social situations

  • Get a copy of your son/daughter’s daily schedule and use it at home

  • Encourage and provide your son/daughter opportunities to self-regulate and self-manage day to day actions

OBJECTIVE: With support from teachers, talk to your son/daughter about disability needs and seeking decision making assistance across classroom and community settings.

Activities


  • Make sure you are allowing your son/daughter to make real choices, be included with all people, and have high self-expectations

  • Talk with your son/daughter openly about disability needs

  • Help your child speak up for his/herself

  • Listen to your son/daughter about what is wanted in life and monitor the expression of wants and needs

  • Encourage your son/daughter to talk about strengths and needs for work and school

  • Talk with your son/daughter about the ability to handle decisions

  • Ask teachers how your son/daughter can regularly participate in school wide programs and community activities

Road to Work

Objectives and Activities to begin in Middle School

OBJECTIVE: At home and in the community, discuss different job opportunities based on your son/daughter’s interest.

Activities

  • Talk about the value of having a job and work ethic

  • Take your son/daughter to different work settings

  • Help your son/daughter obtain a job permit if needed

Objectives and Activities to begin in High School

OBJECTIVE: Based on your son/daughter’s job skill interests, help them prepare or apply for jobs by completing resumes, job applications, and completing interviews.

Activities


  • Work with your son/daughter and teachers to create a resume, job portfolio, and/or video resume

  • Practice job interviewing skills with your son/daughter

  • Take your son/daughter to job fairs to learn explore jobs and careers

  • Work with Vocational Rehabilitation to help your son/daughter gain employment in the community

  • Help your son/daughter search and apply for summer jobs in the community

  • Evaluate future financial needs based on your child’s career plans

  • Interview a job coach for possible help following high school

  • Help your student explore a wide variety of career options to help them

  • If applicable apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

OBJECTIVE: With guidance from teachers and employers, help your son/daughter gain work experiences and discover ways to evaluate work performance under relevant job placement.

Activities


  • Make sure that your son/daughter’s education aligns with skills that employers desire

  • Be sure your son/daughter gets work experiences during school hours

  • Assure that you son/daughter has copies of work related documents that are requested (birth certificate, social security card, tax forms)

  • Help your son/daughter get a real paid job in the community

  • Explain ways your son/daughter can ask for support on the job

  • Learn how wages affect Medicaid and SSI by meeting with your local benefits counselor

Road to College

Objectives and Activities to begin in Middle School

OBJECTIVE: With teachers and community resources, explore college options through internet, visits to college campuses, and transition fairs.

Activities


  • If your son/daughter’s wants to go to college, help take a look at courses needed during middle school

  • Help your son/daughter use the internet to explore college programs and courses of interest

  • Take your son/daughter to tour a college or university

  • Take your son/daughter to attend college fairs to discover possible postsecondary options


Objectives and Activities to begin in High School

OBJECTIVE: With teachers and community resources, continue to explore college options through internet, visits to college campuses, and transition fairs.

Activities


  • Search websites with your son/daughter for employment, vocational training, and colleges to learn more about course requirements, potential majors, costs, services for students with disabilities, living arrangements, activities, and student life

  • Explore accommodations and supports in college that might be available for your son/daughter

  • Take your son/daughter to college fairs and/or tour a college/university

  • Help your son/daughter get involved in volunteer and community activities to increase their chances of getting accepted into a college program

OBJECTIVE: Using teacher or internet resources, explore and explain the differences between high school and college to your son/daughter.

Activities


  • Go to Disability Services or ask teachers about the different accommodations between high school and college

  • Ask the school to help provide current documentation needed for college (recent psychological assessment, letters of reference, summary of performance)

  • Ask your son/daughter’s school guidance counselor about financial aid and college opportunities


Road to Community Living

Objectives, activities, and resources for students that work towards successful independent living options after high school

Objectives and Activities to begin in Middle School

OBJECTIVE: At home and school, help your son/daughter with skills needed for living as independently as possible in the community.

Activities


  • Provide your son/daughter opportunities to practice social skills in the community

  • Assist in good grooming skills and emphasize the importance of physical fitness

  • Find places in your community that your son/daughter could be a part of based on strengths

  • Help organize volunteer opportunities

  • Teach money skills at home and in the community

  • Provide your son/daughter opportunities to practice budgeting, cooking, shopping, and housekeeping

  • Demonstrate and practice public transportation and safety skills with your son/daughter

  • Have the student sign-in or check-in for doctor and dentist visits.


Objectives and Activities to begin in High School

OBJECTIVE: At home and school, help your son/daughter with skills needed to safely live and navigate as independently as possible in the community.

Activities


  • Have adult conversations with your son/daughter about sexuality and family planning

  • Help your son/daughter take responsibility for health care needs, such as making appointments, and filing and taking prescriptions

  • Look into driver’s education when the time is right and use local transportation systems outside of your family

  • Begin to discuss and practice a transportation plan for after high school for your son/daughter

  • Encourage son/daughter to help with minor repair needs around the house

  • Help student to memorize their phone number and complete mailing address

  • Help with grocery planning for the week and following a budget

  • Prompt son/daughter to start helping with cooking

  • Begin to fade the use of one-on-one supports. Encourage connections with peers for support, such as peer-tutoring, mentoring, and study groups.

OBJECTIVE: With support from community agencies and teachers, help your son/daughter with housing, financial, and community mapping resources needed to achieve community living goals.

Activities


  • Have your child register to vote

  • Work with the teacher to perform community mapping in order to identify postsecondary education, vocational, residential, and recreational opportunities available to students within the community

  • Discuss with your son/daughter about payment for living on their own with a fixed income, think about a waitlist for low income housing

  • Assist your son/daughter with a waiting list application for residential placements in the state, regardless of future residential plans; removal from these lists are easy

  • Apply for Section 8 Housing Vouchers

  • Discuss and explore with your son/daughter the kinds of insurance that may be possible after high school