By Jenny Ranney
Change or transition is difficult for all of us, but for those with disabilities any change in their lives or daily routines can be very unsettling. However, just as winter eventually changes to spring, the time comes in the lives of our clients/children to move on in their educational journey. Hopefully you can help to make the transition from a county program to an adult program as smooth as possible: My advice to any parent looking for an adult program is to find out what’s available. Talk to other parents, but be careful also. Not everyone likes the same programs. Follow your intuition. You know your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Look to you child for feedback. They usually give you verbal or non-verbal clues as to how they feel about a place. Choose the program that’s the best fit for your child and your family. We are lucky to live in an area where there are so many options. There is a program out there for everyone. Don’t get discouraged if the first program doesn’t turn out to be what you thought it would be. It’s kind of like looking a menu…choose what you want to order, but if you don’t like it, make another choice. My friend’s daughter unsuccessfully attended two programs before she found one she liked. There are programs closer to my home that provide transportation, but I choose to drive Lisa to and from Life Skills Learning Center every day. She loves her school, her teachers and staff, and more importantly they love her. She’s challenged to learn and perform to the best of her ability, and has many friends. She pops out of bed almost every morning with a cheery “Good Morning, It’s time for school. “ Lisa’s happy, and when she’s happy life is good!
Jennifer Ranney is an active Board Member of ABLE Industries and a parent of an adult with special needs.