- Are the curriculum requirements well matched to your student's particular abilities? For instance, will your child be able to succeed in the general curriculum or will they be in a special education class? Are there any specific classes that may have difficulties with and need accomodations for such as P.E. or computer keyboarding?
- Does your child need any individual accommodations to assure that she can access the general curriculum, such as books on tape, adjusting reading level, homework accomodations, etc.?
- Are there safety or mobility issues? (Does your child need to attend classes up or down stairs? Are trailer classrooms accessible? Can he get to his locker easily? Can he have extra time to get to class? Etc.)
- Consider your child’s social skills, communication ability, self-help, and self-advocacy skills. Will she be able to obtain her lunch in the cafeteria and sit with friends, or will she need help? Is bullying a concern, and how will it be addressed?
- Should pre-vocational skills be introduced or encouraged?
- Are there any specific health issues your child will need to address, such as possible adjustment of medications for longer school hours and homework time?
- Inform a new school, well in advance of the first day, of your child's conditions and needs.
- Take your child to visit the new school and classroom before the school year begins.
- Learn important locations in the new school; locate bathrooms, classrooms, the lunch room, the main office, and the nurse’s office.
- Meet the new teacher and establish preferred means of communication, i.e., phone call, appointment, email, etc.
- Meet with the school nurse to formulate a health plan.
- Introduce your child to other people she will be in contact with, such as the office secretary, lunch workers, or custodian.
- Teach your child routines needed for the new school, such as where to wait for a ride home, where to go if the ride is late, or how to alert his teacher if something is wrong.
- Address transportation, health, and cost issues in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings.
- Learn about school rules and your rights and responsibilities.
- Celebrate your child’s growth and successes.
Transition Tips for Parents of School Aged Children with Disabilities ( 488 KB)
This pamphlet developed by Shriners Hospital for Children, also called Stepping Up, provides information for parents on teaching a child to take care of personal needs; helping a child become more involved with her own health care; helping a child stay physically and emotionally healthy; helping a child become more independent; helping a child succeed in school; and resources and websites.
Center for Parent Information and Resources (DOE)
A large resource library related to children with disabilities. Parent Centers in every state provide training to parents of children with disabilities. Lists local conferences, support groups, advocacy tips, and suggestions for finding schools and other local services; Department of Education, Office of Special Education.
State Education Contacts and Information
Contact the department of education in your state, or the adult ed, arts, child care, higher ed, humanities, libraries, PTA, special ed, tech-prep, vocational rehabilitation, vocational-technical, or other education office in your state.