Last weekend I want to a transition conference sponsored by YIPPE, which is Youths in Partnership with Parents Empowerment, it a series of five conferences. This was our first month and it was simply more amazing then I thought it could be. This months topic was about IEPs.
The IEP doesn’t really apply to me at the moment as we homeschool. I talked with the lady after the class and she said that if he goes to college he will need one. She mentioned that DVR could do it. Well I already knew that DVR could help with making accommodations that he would need. So I wasn’t worried. I think what annoyed me the most was I felt that she fabricated numbers. She had said that 90% of the kids in special education go on to college. I am not sure if she meant those with disabilities or not. I was already looking into the requirements and there is a chance that my son will not make the cut to get in. However, we are working hard and when and if that time is right we will try and worry about it later.
She said that there was an app that was going to be released called WI Transition and the app was suppose to be student friendly. So when we can download that app, I plan to take a look at it and see if there are things that I could apply and teach Dakota. It is suppose to be some sort of checklist.
There was something called a PTP Application that must be completed online at the IEP. There is a demo of it and I plan to find the website to check it out. It asks questions as far as what do you want to do after high school and so on. I think that portion could really benefit us. Right now Dakota really doesn’t know what he wants to do. He said entertaining, but I can’t see him doing that as he doesn’t like crowds and is really anxious. Now I could be wrong and he could totally surprise me. He also expressed an interest in cooking. I found out at the conference that NWTC has a new culinary building now. So we will be looking into that next year.
She said that the kids should be able to identify their disability and be able to tell what they need to accommodate them. That part is going to be a little hard as Dakota doesn’t like to speak up and he doesn’t tell you when he doesn’t understand something. Sometimes he does. So that will be work in progress.
We also got some handouts about Transition Questions Parents Need To Consider ,they are great questions to think about. There was also a Student Transition Planning Guide and right now Dakota would have a hard time filling that out as he has a lot to learn. We wills lowly be working through that guide in time. Last was a sheet to look at different jobs and what kind of education you will need for it, as well as other information. I tried to read the categories to Dakota but he really wasn’t interested. However now that he mentioned cooking we can go and find that and see what his options are for that.
The reason I am trying to think of life outside high school is to start getting him to learn about things now so maybe he will have an easier time later. I am not worried if he doesn’t go or get into college as there are job shadowing programs and on the job training things that we could get hooked up with from DVR. So we still have options.
We were told that we need to start letting them check in at doctor appointments, make their appointments, call in prescriptions and to bring a copy of insurance card next time we come. Dakota was like I don’t have to do that until I am 18. I was like wrong you need to start learning now so you know what you are doing. Sigh…I don’t know if it is the teenage years or if he really thinks that.
Now the conference itself was totally awesome. We met other parents and children ages 15 and older. We started out with introductions. The first night Dakota wouldn’t talk. I was a little sad as I was listening to what the other kids were saying about what they appreciated about their parent and the parents had to say what they appreciated. Instantly there was one boy and family that caught my attention as what they said was exactly like my son. We ate dinner and then the parents went into another room and the kids worked with the other kids. Dakota did instantly bond with one of the boys that night and some of the girls.
After the conference Friday night the kids were able to go to the waterpark. Dakota didn’t really want to go. The only way he was going to go was if I stayed in there with him. So I did and we agreed after 30 minutes if he wasn’t having fun we would go back to the room. Well we ended up staying until 10 which gave me time to socialize with the other parents while he had fun. When we checked out the next day we did get bracelets again for the water park and when the conference was done Saturday some of us stayed and the kids had more fun. The kids even collected numbers. Some parents did too.
The parents were such a wonderful group and I look forward to the next conferences. All of us were praising each others kids and building up each others kids confidence. The kids were all awesome to each other. It was just so awesome. We all have hopes of our children staying in contact.
There was a boy exactly like Dakota. Only Dakota was able to keep controlled the other just let it out. It was a spitting image of what I go through. I actually felt relieved as I didn’t feel like I was doing something wrong as a parent and it was good to see someone else going through the same struggle. The boys are very similar. It was just awesome!
My head is still spinning though thinking about what I have learned and what I need to do yet. I know I have plenty of time. There is so much I want to accomplish with Dakota before he turns 18. I also am excited because I would like to see him blossom.