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Feeling Stuck? Ideas for the High School Years
If you have a High School student on the autism spectrum, you may have been involved in helping to coordinate your child's care for well over 10 years, depending on when your child was diagnosed. For many parents, however, High School brings on a sense of urgency. Even though your child can remain in High School until age 21, there is much to be accomplished during these precious last years when your child is eligible for services through the special education system. Make the most of this time so that you and your child will be prepared for the years that lie ahead when your child is an adult.
- By the time your child is in High School, to the extent he or she is capable of understanding, your child should know about his or her ASD diagnosis. Additionally, it is important to continue to help your child build self-advocacy skills, so that he or she can communicate needs and wants. Encouraging self-advocacy at home and at school is critical. Help your child learn to recognize his or her feelings and find an appropriate way to communicate them, regardless of verbal ability.
- Certainly review your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). Is it current? Are the goals measurable and appropriate? Are the transition goals appropriate and have they become more specific each year? Are there tangible outcomes from these goals? Make sure your child is involved in the transition planning and is a participant in his or her IEP Meeting.
- If your child is considering post-secondary education (for example, college), explore options and entrance requirements. Learn about your child's limited rights to accommodations and supports after high school.