"Transition is the movement from one set of circumstances to another resulting in changes to environments, relationships, behaviours, routines, roles and expectations. It is a process of change that for some may require substantial preparation planning, adjustment and support".
Inclusive Education: Supporting teachers to respond to the diversity of students' needs. Dept. of Education WA (2010)
Starting school, moving into high school and then into adult life are significant transitions young people experience. In addition, in the 21st century, very few people will have one job for life. Young people can expect to make several changes and reconfigure their career throughout their life. Transition can be both an exciting yet challenging time as they prepare to live, learn and work in a constantly changing and complex world. For young people with a disability, particularly those with high and complex needs, and their families and carers, this can be an incredibly challenging time. The best way to deal with transition is to be well informed and plan for it.
Make Planning a Top Priority
Transition planning is a process that helps young people plan, prepare and work towards achieving their future directions and goals. It is planning now for a desired future. It is a process that:
- promotes a smooth transition to adult life
- is empowering
- informs decision making
- maximises choices
- provides direction and purpose
It's never too early or too late to begin planning. Learning to manage transition and career direction involves skills that are built over time and experience. Things to do:
- Connect with service providers that can assist your child during compulsory schooling and beyond to form a Transition Plan
- Ensure you, your young person, school and service providers collaborate regularly so that as your child's needs change, so the support changes to match and you can ensure a smooth and consistent transition
- Work closely with school staff in the final years of schooling so that there is a clear direction and plan before the end of the school year
- Include your child in the process of negotiating supports so they can learn how to draw on the services available for them this will prepare them well when they reach adulthood
- Encourage your child to develop a Disclosure Plan; even a script of how and when they will disclose their disability