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Guaranteeing Special Education Rights: Individualized Education Plans

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
"Making life better!"

Transition from School to Work: The beginning Cheerleaders from Spirit Lake

A transition plan starts like any other plan, beginning with where you are now and finishing with where you want to end up. For many people, with or without disabilities, it is a very long way from where they are in middle school to living and working independently.

Most high school students, with or without disabilities, are not too concerned about their future, especially in their first two or three years of high school. They'd rather think about the basketball game that night than where they will be living and working five years from now.

Transition is the sum of many small accomplishments. These can include learning to manage money, plan what you will have for lunch or how to invite a friend to eat lunch with you.

The most common reason for people to fail in employment is not lack of job skills but inability to get along on the job. Work with students now to learn to be on time, attend school regularly, ask for more information if they don't understand and learn to solve conflicts.

One argument we have heard from some counselors is that it is hard to motivate students to attend school because 'school is boring'. Frankly, we don't buy it. Any normal person with a normal job has parts of it that are boring. Parts of life are boring. None of us enjoyed paying our electric bill this month or cheered, "Hurray! I get to put gas in my car, drive home and wash the dishes!" Dr. DeMars thought college English was boring but her advisor said she had to take it anyway.

Start thinking now about what the student's strengths and weaknesses are. The young women above are strong in social skills, creativity and organizational skills. They could be successful in sales, maybe as a receptionist at the front desk at the resort. What about web design? That takes creativity and organization; as a project manager, it takes the ability to work with others on a design team. Growing up on the reservation, students have often been exposed to a limited number of careers in the community. Of course, we at Spirit Lake Consulting are trying to change that. The important point is this, don't limit the possibilities for students.

NEXT arrow NEXT: Transition plans - advice from experienced tribal program staff

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. -- P.O.Box 663, 314 Circle Dr., Fort Totten, ND 58335 Tel: (701) 351-2175 Fax: (800) 905 -2571
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