A few weeks ago I posted a blog about the importance of preparing your child for the life they will face after high school. As I said in that post, I have found over my many years in special education that school systems do not classically build these independence skills that are necessary for success following graduation. One of the questions I have received in response to that post is exactly what should the school be responsible for if it isn't preparing your child for life?
Obviously your child's school is responsible introducing and strengthening academic concepts. It is their job to educate your child in the way that they learn best. It is their job to provide them with the functional academic skills they will need on a daily basis. It is also their job to work with your child to meet the goals that are on their IEP.
As I mentioned in my last blog, there are a lot of different ways you as a parent can prepare your child for all the other areas of that the school does not. These areas include social and emotional skills, independent living skills, and vocational skills. It is important to have your child regularly assessed by an independent party as they age so you know what areas need the most focus. As a parent you may feel you know this already but it is important for someone to assess your child that does not have an emotional connection. With this information you can find organizations that can help you and your child strengthen their skills as they age. The reality is that no matter how great of a parent you are, you're going to need help in most cases. Organizations such as Life's WORC, AHRC, and the Gersh Experience offer an array of services that can help strengthen these important areas that most school systems ignore.
Earlier in this blog I mentioned that schools are responsible for working with your child to meet any and all goals that are on their IEP. It is up to you as a parent to make sure that during the Annual Review Meeting that goals are added to the IEP that will strengthen their social and emotional skills, independent living skills, and vocational skills. Most schools won't welcome adding goals that are outside of what they can easily complete so make sure you come in with concrete proof that these areas are significantly delayed. That independent assessment that was mentioned comes in very handy here. Assessments like the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales or the ABAS-II will highlight the areas we have been discussing. If you have had one of these assessments completed and you need someone to help you evaluate the results, contact us at Gersh Academy or The Gersh Experience for assistance.
Until next time,