What is Transition and Why is it Important?

Transition is about change. For young people who attend school, it is a change from their role as students to being adults and doing things other adults do in the community. This may include getting a job, going to college or university, getting a place to live, developing personal and social relationships with other adults, and being involved in the community. Obviously, the transition from being a student to being an adult may not involve all of these activities at the same time. But, most young people will do (or want to do) most of the things other adults do during their twenties and early thirties. Some will start before they leave high school.

All young people who attend and eventually leave school go through some kind of transition. For many people, the transition from school to adult life is smooth. They go to college, get a job and an apartment, and so on. Some people find the transition more difficult. Young people with disabilities are at greater risk of being unable to attend college or university and of being unemployed or uninvolved in the life of their communities. Figuring out how to make this transition smooth and successful is crucial. The steps that are taken to prepare for adult life while people are still in school can make a positive and lasting difference.

While improvements are being made at the school level, much more work needs to be done to ensure that youth with disabilities can make successful transitions from school to work and adult life. As a result, you may need to be a strong advocate for your child to ensure that planning and other activities take place that will prepare your child for life after school. You may also need to ask other people to get involved to help you and your child to achieve your goals.

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