The moment your child starts to make that transition into adulthood is challenging for every parent. This is even more so with children who have additional needs. You may find yourself asking questions such as,
Schools are entitled to support your child to make this transition. This can be through conversations about education or provisions after 16. It can involve speaking with a range of organisations, housing agencies or employers. In this article, we will discuss this topic in more detail. We aim to give an outline to support you to navigate this time.
Value Your Child’s Opinions
It is important to involve your child in discussions about their future as much as possible. Your child has experienced various forms of support in various settings. At post 16, they may have preferences on what they like and what they do not. They may have formed opinions on their aspirations and where they would like to be. It is imperative to involve them in decisions about their lives.
Getting their opinions can be done in various modes. If you have a non-verbal child, you may try a social story or visual cues. If your child is verbal, you may decide to have a general conversation. Whichever mode works best for your child, it is important to value their opinions on what they would like to do in their future.
Meet Your Child Where They Are
Consider independence from your child’s level of development. Every child is different and develops at different rates. It is important to identify what level of support would best support your child. Imposing expectations of where your child should be at their age can be challenging. This can put unnecessary pressure on both you and your child. Identifying their current level of development and working to promote independence from this point would be beneficial for your child.
Consider All Options
There are various options that a child may move into post 16. This may be employment, higher education, or respite. Which ever option is chosen, it is important that it enables your child to be happy, healthy and independent as an individual. It should allow them to be active members of the community in a form that best suits their needs.
Contact Charity shares more information about education options post 16.
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