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.
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.