The period of transition from school to the adult life can be considered as rather challenging for every student. Moreover, those students with learning disabilities can experience much more difficulties while transitioning in comparison with the other students.
Suzie is an eighteen-year old high-school student who is currently in the tenth grade. She has a mild learning disability known as dyscalculia which means that she has some difficulties in acquiring mathematical skills. In spite of her disability Suzie should have a chance to get a good education, to be successfully employed, and develop her career according to her interests and skills. Thus, at this stage the main task of the administration and teachers is to prepare Suzie for the vocational school and support or even guarantee her further successful employment. Suzie is interested in a range of possible activities which can help her to find her place in society.
Suzie is ready to spend a lot of time grooming dogs or working as a waitress. However, her real passion is cosmetology and barbering. The girl hopes that she could achieve high results in this field. The determination of the student’s long-term goals is the most important task of the educators according to which it is possible to work out the other aspects of the transition plan (Oswalt, n.d.
). Thus, the educators should provide the specialized vocational evaluation to determine the professional areas which are the best variants for Suzie. Special educational staff can realize the investigation of the student’s interests, abilities, and goals in several steps. At first, it is necessary to conduct an informal interview with Suzie. Her teacher who has worked with her for a long time should ask her questions about her interests, preferences, and goals with concentrating on possible difficulties or successes in providing this or that activity (Stanberry, 2010). The teacher should also ask Suzie why she likes some activities and dislikes the other ones, what are the reasons for her preferences. Secondly, Susie should take the assessment of her learning style with referring to her learning disability and complete the interest inventory.
These measures will help the teachers and counselors to identify Suzie’s strengths and weaknesses in learning. This issue is also very important because Suzie may be inclined to continue her education, and it is significant to understand what kind of learning style is quite appropriate for her. Now Suzie wants to transfer to BOCES in order to become a cosmetologist. It is also possible for Suzie to take the specific assessment which can be conducted by the educators from BOCES. In particular, the teachers have to see how she performs the work-related tasks.
A kind of the volunteer work or entry-level jobs in the field of cosmetology in association with BOCES can also be effective. In this way, the teachers will help Suzie determine whether she should choose cosmetology as her main area or, for instance, hairdressing and barbering. It is quite possible that the career counselors will suggest some other jobs that Suzie will be able to cope with efficiently. Thus, this assessment will make Suzie’s transitioning to vocational school much easier. When the girl will transfer to BOCES she will be able to choose the career path that completely fits her interests and abilities. The counselors and the guidance service should also help Suzie to get learn the necessary information about the peculiarities of the admission to the vocational school, particularly to BOCES. Suzie should be provided with the information about the admission tests, the required credits, and about all the required costs (Ruegg, 2003).
It is significant to present the material about the peculiarities of acquiring students’ scholarship and participating in such programs as, for instance, Student Financial Assistance. Moreover, during the transition period Suzie should have the opportunity to learn some skills that are necessary for her future profession. She must use the opportunity of the possible job training.
Thus, the girl will be able to learn more about her future profession and understand how she should act in various situations or even overcome conflicts that may occur at the workplace. However, it is also significant that the character of Suzie’s learning disability cannot influence the quality of her work. Studying at the vocational school is only the first step in the realization of the life plan. The successful employment can become the next challenge for the girl as well as every student.
Nevertheless, the effective transition plan should cover all the possible areas of the student’s further professional life and personal development. After completing the courses at BOCES, Suzie may choose from different options to continue her professional growth. It is important to state that employers are prohibited to discriminate people with any kind of disabilities. However, the preference can be given to those businesses and companies that have a good reputation in employing people with disabilities. In this way it will be easier for Suzie to adjust to the requirements which are set by employers. It is possible to suppose that the work in an enclave or a small group placed within an existing business will be one of the best variants for this girl. Moreover, the educators should pay attention to monitoring Suzie’s progress at the workplace. This monitoring is necessary to make sure that Suzie is not discriminated at her workplace.
These are the issues that the educators have to concentrate on in the context of Suzie’s education at the vocational school and her future employment. The second area which is significant to be discussed in the plan for transitioning is the peculiarities of the student’s residence. Today Suzie lives with her mother who can contribute to her needs. However, it is quite possible that the girl will have to live alone, especially if she has to work in a place that is far away from home. Therefore, it is the task of the administrators and counselors to help Suzie find the appropriate apartment.
It is significant to note that Suzie disability will not prevent her from living in a usual apartment. However, the girl has to be visited occasionally by social workers who can consult her in relation to any problem questions. The key role of the special educators is to make sure that Suzie is able to live alone in a supervised apartment. There is a range of aspects to which it is necessary to pay attention. The counselors can also consult Suzie when she has any difficulties or problems with such everyday activities as doing shopping. It is particularly important for Suzie because this activity requires the girl’s ability to calculate successfully, and it can be a real challenge for Suzie who suffers from dyscalculia. Suzie’s financial needs have to be of the priorities for the guidance service and counselors. She must be able to manage her money effectively.
At the beginning Suzie will receive Supplemental Security Income and her earned wages. Thus, she will have to manage her money, and this task can be very challenging for a person with dyscalculia. It is necessary to involve parents, in this case, Suzie’s mother in the financial planning.
It is also possible to have some savings that can potentially help her daughter in the long-term future. Nevertheless, it is also necessary to take some precaution, for instance, it can be useful for Suzie and necessary for her mother to set up the special needs trust. Such trusts are traditionally designed for children with different kinds of disabilities. This money will be managed by independent guardians who will ensure that Suzie cannot lose these funds. In particular, she may use this money for various needs such as insurance settlements or definite medical fees.
However, she will not be able to spend all the money or give it to someone else. These are the main precautions that should be taken. However, it is also important to give Suzie all the necessary consultations which include the points connected of her everyday budget and planning the purchases.
Such consultations should be provided by the specialists in the problem of dyscalculia in order to prevent the girl from any possible difficulties and inconveniences. Suzie’s recreational needs should not be disregarded. In her case, the teachers and counselors should emphasize the independent recreation and leisure. Therefore, the girl should be told about all the opportunities that she may have in order to have a good rest. For instance, one can mention travelling and all the kinds of tourism because Suzie enjoys these activities greatly. Moreover, she should be informed about the possible recreational programs that are intended for people with learning or mental disabilities such as dyscalculia. She may not necessarily use this program, but she should know about them at least because such programs provide the work with the specialists in this kind of disabilities and with psychologists. When developing transition plan for Suzie, teachers and social workers should not forget about her medical needs.
The girl has no any other health problems except dyscalculia. There are also no any special needs which can be caused with the girl’s learning disability. Suzie can be inclined to apply for Medicaid, but she should also be informed about the other insurance coverage programs and their possible advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, Suzie will inevitably have to use the services of therapists, dentists, or gynecologists.
Thus, the social workers should help find these healthcare professionals so that she could have the scheduled meetings with them. Completing the transitioning plan, it is also important to pay attention to the fact that Suzie has social and sexual needs as any person. She has a lot of acquaintances and friends, but sometimes she can experience difficulties in establishing the close relationships with people. This fact can be explained by Suzie’s lack of confidence partly caused by the effects of her learning disability. Thus, the girl is inclined to believe that in definite everyday situations other people can look at her with some prejudice because of her learning disability.
That is why it is important to let the girl have access to the counseling services which can provide the psychologist’s help. It should be also noted that Suzie’s low self-esteem and lack of confidence in her abilities can affect not only her social relationships, but, in many cases, it will adversely influence the peculiarities of her performance at the workplace and her professional growth. Using transportation is essential for every person who wants to be an active member of society. Currently Suzie is transported by her mother. In the future the girl is inclined to use the public transport and have some consultations according to using money and possible calculations there. All the legal needs should be provided with the participation of Suzie’s mother who can be responsible for the legal needs during Suzie’s studying. With referring to the character of Suzie’s disability, it is important to pay attention to the peculiarities of the money management as the most challenging task for the girl.
All the necessary consultations should be provided by the counselors, social workers, and the specialists in dyscalculia. Finally, the teachers have to make sure that Suzie has developed basic skills that are necessary for every person. With focusing on the details of Suzie’s case, it is possible to say that the girl does not require help in home management including housekeeping skills and meal preparation skills. Transitioning plan for students with learning disabilities should include all the areas of the person’s everyday life because of the necessity of working out the most effective plan for the student’s further educational, professional, and personal development.
Oswalt, A. (n.d.
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communitycounselingservices.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=36231&cn=113 Ruegg, E. (2003).
Social competence, transition plans and children with learning disabilities. Retrieved from http://www.usca.edu/essays/vol72003/reugg.
pdf Stanberry, K. (2010). Transition planning for students with IEPs. Retrieved fromhttp://www.greatschools.org/special-education/health/873-transition-planning-for-students-with-ieps.gs?page=all