- Are the curriculum requirements well matched to your student's particular abilities? For instance, will your child be able to succeed in the general curriculum or will they be in a special education class? Are there any specific classes that may be difficult such as P.E. or computer keyboarding?
- Does your child need individual accommodations to assure that she can access the curriculum, i.e. books on tape, adjustment of reading level to appropriate group, etc.?
- Are there safety/mobility issues? (Does your child need to attend classes up or down stairs? Are trailer classrooms accessible? Can he get to his locker easily?)
- Consider your child’s social skills, communication ability, self-help, and self-advocacy skills. Will she be able to obtain her lunch in the cafeteria and sit with friends or will she need help? Is bullying a concern, and how will it be addressed?
- Should pre-vocational skills be introduced or encouraged?
- Inform a new school of your child's conditions and needs well in advance of your child’s first day.
- Visit the new school early with your child to locate locker, bathrooms, lunchroom, and office; ask for a locker change if mobility is an issue. Show your child where the bus will pick her up after school.
- Talk to the bus driver about your student's needs.
- Meet with teachers to discuss health, behavior, and learning issues.
- Ask the principal to assign someone to case-manage your child's needs and to address safety issues (such as fire escape), mobility issues, toileting, locker placement, schedule, etc. A school physical or occupational therapist may be best suited to make this assessment. Verify that all school team members* and teachers have a copy of the emergency plan. The health plan, emergency plan and medication list should be updated approximately every 6 months.
- Make arrangements with school staff regarding special health equipment storage, self-care, and toileting.
- Meet with the school team to set up a "quiet time" location if fatigue or over-stimulation are issues for your child.
- Find out about class expectations (e.g., P.E., shop, food, lab, etc.) and speak with the teacher about your student's specific needs.
- Attach a copy of your child's class schedule inside a notebook and/or help him post an extra copy in his locker.
- If appropriate, teach your student to use an organizer and prioritize different class assignments.
- Ask about assigning a peer assistant for hallway navigation, especially if mobility is difficult.
- Consider arranging to have a second set of textbooks at home.
- Talk with your student about social issues before they arise. Consider role-playing to explore possible responses.
- Encourage your student to practice self-advocacy.
- Encourage your student to become involved in school activities or after-school activities/clubs. Find out which clubs, sports, and activities are available for your child.
- Notify school in advance of an extended absence; if possible, arrange homebound teachers. Upon your child’s return to school, update the health plan, medications, and emergency/escape plan.
Transition Tips for Parents of Teens with Disabilities ( 476 KB)
This pamphlet, developed by Shriners Hospital for Children, provides information for parents on taking care of themselves, helping teens stay physically and emotionally healthy, addressing sexuality, helping teens succeed in school and work, teaching teens to manage their own health care and become more independent, and includes a list of other resources and websites.
Transition Tips for Teens with Disabilities ( 308 KB)
This pamphlet, developed by Shriners Hospital for Children, provides information for teens on staying physically and emotionally healthy, taking charge of their own health care, succeeding in school, preparing for work, getting ready for the future, and includes a list of other resources and websites.
Utah Parent Center
A non-profit organization that provides training, information, referral, and assistance to parents of children and youth with all disabilities including physical, mental, hearing, vision, learning, behavioral, and emotional. Staff consists primarily of parents of children and youth with disabilities.
Center for Parent Information and Resources (DOE)
A large resource library related to children with disabilities. Parent Centers in every state provide training to parents of children with disabilities. Lists local conferences, support groups, advocacy tips, and suggestions for finding schools and other local services; Department of Education, Office of Special Education.
Champions for Children with Disabilities, PACER Center is a parent advocacy site covering a wide variety of topics for special needs kids including education; community support; training for parents; bullying prevention, financial planning and teen transition to employment.
A federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services with resources and information on bullying.
Utah State Office of Education
This site provides information about Utah schools, the school board, rules, regulations, and more.
State Education Contacts and Information
Contact the department of education in your state, or the adult ed, arts, child care, higher ed, humanities, libraries, PTA, special ed, tech-prep, vocational rehabilitation, vocational-technical, or other education office in your state.