Are you the parent of a child in high school receiving special education services? Are you concerned that your child with autism is not receiving appropriate transition services to be prepared for life after school? Would you like to have more information about graduation and special education? This article will give you 5 things that you will need to know as a parent as your child heads toward graduation.
1. A child with a disability has the right to be educated from the age of 3 until their 22nd birthday. Check your child’s IEP if they are in high school and make sure that the graduation date listed is up until your child’s 22nd birthday not sooner.
2. Special education personnel cannot graduate your child just because they have enough credits. The law requires that special education personnel keep other things in mind when determining a graduation date. My son Shaun’s school tried this trick on me and I did not bite, but successfully advocated against graduation, because he still needed services.
3. The definition of special education is: individually based education that prepares a student for post school learning, employment, independent living and financial self sufficiency. If a child continues to need functional skills training, more academic learning, help in areas of skill deficits, transition services, job skills and training, and/or related services they are not ready to graduate.
4. Many states have developed a certificate of completion instead of giving children a regular high school diploma. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that special education services end when a child receives a regular education diploma. Services do not end if the child receives a certificate of completion and still requires special education services to benefit from their education.
5. 26 States in the USA have or are planning to have high stake exit exams. This may affect your child’s ability to attend post school learning. Due to litigation some states have offered waivers to children with disabilities. Check with your states department of education to determine if they have high stake exit exams.
Many states do not have enough adult disability services for all of the people that need them. This is the reason that it is critical to have your child stay in school as long as they can. Use this information to help your child receive the transition services they need so that they will be prepared for post school learning, and independent living.