Blog #225: Focusing on Special Education, IEP’s and Transitions (Part 2)

First of all, on behalf of myself and “Going the Distance,” I wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter and Passover season. This is a time of year where life begins anew and we reset ourselves to focus on what is truly important in our lives.

For the second of this two-part blog, I want to cover the second part of what “Going the Distance” will be focusing on going forward for the time being which is transitioning from high school to college/real life. This is an area that a lot of special education students struggle with when the time comes for them to become of age and live independently and also something that I struggle with on a personal level.

Bear cleaning up the Big Blue House in “Bear in the Big Blue House”

As you may have read by now in previous blogs, I did NOT have a smooth transition out of high school and didn’t get my first paying job until I was 18 years old whereas most students would get theirs at 16 or 17 years old, while they were still in school.

This would have been a crucial time for me to learn such important tactics such as being flexible and open minded, dealing with the public and gaining necessary skills needed once I had gotten my diploma.

I also didn’t get the chance to move out of my house and live on my own until I was 25 years old and while most neurodiverse and special needs people never move out on their own, the odds of neurodiverse/special needs people living on their own are very low and a lot of that, I believe, comes from the fear that parents/guardians have for their children.

It also comes from the fact that the individual themselves either can’t speak up for themselves and say that they want to be independent, when they have anxiety about going through the process.

“Leafie: A Hen into the Wild” (2006) is a movie that covers several important themes such as moving out on your own. I will discuss this movie in depth in a future blog.

Finally, there is the matter of anxiety on both the individual and the individual’s families and when the time comes for both parties to experience the real world, many don’t know how to go through the process. The other matter is that some of these families live in remote areas and cannot afford to drive all the way back and forth from the rural area to the site in question.

In this new age of remote meetings, one thing that CANNOT be replaced is doing in person life skills because they simply cannot be replaced. You can’t do dishes, fold clothes and do household chores from a computer and that’s a fact.

I believe that if special needs families can benefit from someone like myself who has been through these challenges while on the autism spectrum, they can possibly gain the confidence needed to live out of the nest.

To this end, if you or your organization are looking for someone to discuss what it was like growing up on the autism spectrum and going through a specialized educational program as well as learning job/life skills, please reach out to me today!!

Catch you all later!!