For individuals with special needs, it may be difficult to make the transition into school or workforce. Depending on the transition training they got and the life skills they possess, they might be more or less successful adjusting to the new challenges that they’re about to face.
Parents, caregivers and teachers all play a vital role in preparing an individual with special needs to transition successfully into a new environment or stage of life. Let’s have a look at why life skills and transition training are so important, as well as how caregivers can help with transition.
Why Is Transition Important?For special needs children and adults, proper transitioning means more success in the new activity. Unfortunately, the educational system often fails individuals with disabilities and special needs. In 2015 in the US only 34.9% of people with disabilities aged between 18-64 had a job, according to the 2016 Disability Statistics Annual Report.
This shows that there’s a clear need for better transition training and making sure that obstacles preventing children and adults with special needs to function independently and successfully in a community are easier to navigate. Additionally, transition services are required by the IDEA and school districts have to provide them and make them a part of the special education curriculum.
Key Life SkillsThere is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to key life skills, considering that not all special needs individuals face the same challenges. However, there are a few key areas to focus on, depending on an individual’s needs and existing skills. For example, social and communication skills are important for individuals on the autism spectrum, so they’d have an easier time adjusting to new situations and circumstances. Whether the transition involves school, adulthood or work, life skills are the tools that provide support and confidence.
However, the general curriculum often doesn’t cover learning these skills. Knowing how to balance checkbooks and manage money, prepare meals or navigate different social situations means that an individual with special needs can be successful in independent life, whether it’s a school or work environment.
How Does Teaching Life Skills Help Transition?Skills that predict success in various situations and ensure that individuals with special needs will have proper support while adjusting to the change are crucial for successful transition training.
Caregivers should be aware of what type of training and life skills will be necessary for an individual to learn, so they could plan in advance and ensure that the process of transition will be as seamless as possible. Caregivers, parents and teachers should cooperate in order to provide the best possible opportunities for learning and adjustment.
ConclusionCaregivers and parents can determine the best approaches and ways of teaching skills and preparing individuals with special needs to transition into a new life stage, according to their individual wishes and abilities. This in turn helps them achieve their goals and have good quality of life.
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