Freshman and Sophomore Years
- Before your child turns 16, meet with the IEP team to begin transition planning. This is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
- Make sure the transition IEP focuses on your child’s plan to enter the workforce.
- Encourage your child’s active participation in IEP meetings.
- Prepare for IEP meetings together with your child. This will help your child identify dreams and goals and learn to self-advocate.
- Teach and model problem-solving skills. Include how to gather information and consider options. This will help your child become independent.
- Throughout high school, help your child develop social and interpersonal skills.
- Explore career options with your child by researching potential choices.
- Encourage your child to participate in valid, reliable interest testing to make sure that the career they are considering is achievable.
- Meet with a benefits planner to understand the effect of income on Social Security benefits and health care.
- Review your child’s high school transcript to make sure they are completing the courses necessary for graduation.
- Encourage your child to participate in extracurricular, volunteer, and community activities.
- Encourage your child to research the North Dakota labor market, companies they would like to work for, and places they would like to live.
- Invite representatives of adult agencies to IEP meetings to ensure a smooth transition to these services.
- Contact the regional VR office to determine eligibility for VR services. VR may be able to help develop your child’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).
- If you are concerned about your child adjusting to the world of work, review materials available in bookstores, libraries, and online.
- Talk to high school counselors, members of the IEP team, and local leaders of advocacy agencies.