Season #1 of the LOMAH podcast has come to an end. Before moving along to season #2, we share lessons from the last year and follow up on past guests.
Students with special needs are entitled to a fair and appropriate education, commonly called FAPE. Sometimes parents idea of FAPE differ from the school district and can be met with resistance. In today's episode, we share 5 steps to take before presenting your idea to the IEP team.
It's homeschooling, but it's not. Todays guest began an alternative form of education for her son with autism during the elementary school years and continues to implement it in his teenage years. It is a twist on homeschooling. We uncover this “homeschooling twist” in two episodes. Episode #33 uncovers what it is and how it came to be, and episode #34 (coming March 27) provides the step by step process to use when partnering with the school district to create an out of the box plan for your learner with special needs.
Applied Behavioral Services is a school in the Midwest who, for 20 years, has been working with students that have autism or related disorders. They currently serve over 250 students and 35 school districts per day. In this episode, we will be inspired to blaze trails that do not already exist. We also talk about the importance of narrowing the focus on goals long before students approach "the cliff" of decreased services in adulthood.
"Falling off the cliff" refers to what happens to young adults with special needs upon exiting the school system and losing services. One of the most important things that can be done to prepare for the shift in services is create a quality Individualized Transition Plan which is a federally mandated document guiding IEP goals beginning at the age of 14 or 16. Dana Lattin, project coordinator of the Transition Coalition, gives us guidance on where to begin.
At 18, parents no longer have legal access to educational information. IEP consent, requests for assessments, and information from educators are just a few rights that transfer from the parent to the student. Today’s guest, a special needs attorney, offers insight on how to prepare and how to protect the rights of our adult child while at the same time offering supports s/he may still need. Our focus will be on education. The first half of the episode focuses on students with special needs who plan on attending college. The second half of the episode focuses on students with higher support needs who are likely to stay in transitional programs offered by the public school system.
The College of Adaptive Arts is a new model of education with a commitment to lifelong learning paired with empowering students to creatively transform the way the world views individuals with disabilities. Students have 9 tracks of study to choose from with over a dozen departments of specialty. While diplomas are earned, there is no exit date which allows lifelong access to education. In this episode, the founding directors share the core beliefs driving this unique model of education and their vision of a future where this model can be found on campuses throughout the country.
Jessica is a student at the University of Cincinnati’s TAP program discussed in episode #27. She shares with us how she became a college student, the challenges she and her family faced the first year, areas she has grown, how the program is preparing her for a dream job, and social life on campus.
The University of Cincinnati has 3 programs for individuals w special needs collectively known as Advancement and Transition Services (ATS). The 3 programs serve ages 14 to middle adulthood, and also a wide range of abilities from minimal support needs to high support needs. Christina Carnahan, director of ATS joins us in episode #26 to share the program for students in high school (CEES) and the program for adults with higher support needs (IMPACT). Diane Clouse joins us in episode #27 to discuss the program for college students with differing abilities (TAP).
Think College is funded by the US Department of Education as a national coordinator for transition and post-secondary options for students with intellectual disabilities. Cate Weir is the program director of the organization and will discuss college as a transition option for individuals with special needs as well as who is and is not eligible, program curriculum, on campus supports, IEP goals to prepare for college, and where to find resources.
High school and college education for teens and young adults with special needs and/or disabilities will be the focus of the next several episodes. Experts will be answering questions regarding options, supports, and what we should be doing to prepare for the transition from high school to college and/or employment. This introductory episode gives the backstory of why Kim is asking a lot of questions on the topic and 3 action plans for her daughter.
Desiree Kameka works for the Madison House Autism Foundation where she serves as the director of community engagement and also is the director of a branch for the foundation called the Autism Housing Network. She is the national coordinator for the advocacy group Coalition for Community Choice and she also serves as a host home provider. She joins us to provide insight and action steps to move us forward in securing housing for our loved ones with disabilities.
Often this model "happens" rather than being chosen and planned. However, intentionally choosing the Family Home Model and putting forth the same amount of planning and work as any other model can make it a highly desirable option.
Independent Apartment Communities are a new(ish) housing model for adults with disabilities. IACs are similar to the traditional apartment model in the freedom of choice that comes with living and maintaining one's apartment with or without roommates. The difference, as the name indicates, is the community piece.
This week we pause and reflect. Kim shares 5 housing model a-ha's.
- Utilize a variety of models rather than just one
- Organizations providing housing need to have business savvy
- The state you live in makes a BIG difference
- Our adult children might do better with another caregiver
- Money matters
Integrated Life Choices is a premier example of successfully executing the host home model for adults with special needs. One of Shanda McClaren's many roles with the company is to pair adults utilizing this model with a host home. In this episode, Shanda shares with us who is best suited for this model, what guardians do and do not give up when utilizing this housing model, how long placement takes, and how to proceed should this be your housing model of choice.
Group Homes, also referred to as Community Care Facilities, are residential homes within the community housing a number of unrelated individuals who require support.
LOMAH speaks with Dana Hooper, executive director of Life Services Alternative (LSA) in episode #15 & #16. LSA has 11 (soon to be 12) group homes in the Silicon Valley area of California and is considered to be one of the best examples in the country of the group home concept.
We begin our housing series for adults with disabilities by focusing on the campus model. Located in Texas, Marbridge is an exemplary example of the campus model. In the next two episodes, we speak with Scott McAvoy who is the VP of operations.
Mike is the father of 25-year-old Ben. Through the years, Mike and his wife have applied their experiences with Ben and also their knowledge from the corporate world to create a system of finding, hiring, and keeping quality caregivers. Today, Mike shares the beginning stages of the process and a valuable resource to learn more.
If you have a loved one with a disability, you may have begun pondering where s/he will live as an adult. It doesn’t take long to realize there are a variety of options but not an abundance of them. Today we go over the models of care, share a must have resource, and suggest next steps to take in planning housing for your adult with special needs.