2 weeks ago

Look Inside Young Adult Road Map

Guiding Star Close-up:

Guiding Star Close-up: The Bridge to Everywhere Using Strengths and Concerns in Transition What strengths can you bring to this problem? What concerns do you have? What are your priorities (services or supports you may need to meet your concerns right now)? Here are some examples of how strengths, concerns, and priorities might be part of your plan as you cross bridges into new stages of life. BRIDGE Strengths Concerns Priorities Education You are willing to plan. You are willing to listen to advice from others, but make your own decisions. You are willing to ask for help when you need it. Your high school counselor advised you to sign up for student disability services when you enroll at college. Though you don’t think you’ll need it, you meet the disability services office staff and fill out paperwork to be eligible for services. Three weeks into your first semester, you are struggling in one course and doing okay in other courses. Also, you think the professor who teaches the course you are struggling in doesn’t like you. Reach out to your contact in the disability services office to go over services that are available to you, including class note takers, tutors, quieter testing spaces, longer testing time, and advice on how to communicate effectively with professors. You are willing and able to plan. You are willing and able to communicate your goals and concerns to others. You have been involved in your IEP transition planning process since the age of 14. You are concerned that the transition goals you and the IEP team wrote last year no longer fit who you are and what you want to do. Reassemble the team (you, Mom/ Dad, guidance counselor, school psychologist, and others) to revise your plan to fit who you are today. Bring in a written list of your concerns and potential solutions. Employment You are willing and able to ask about jobs that would fit you better. You have had four different jobs in the past six months. You start with high hopes and leave (on your own) in disappointment. Go to an office of the state’s career center to look for an apprenticeship where you learn while you earn money. Ask about an internship where people are willing to teach and explain things to you at a slower pace. Apply for vocational rehabilitation benefits to get job training and placement. Health/Mental Health You are willing and able to choose your own mental health provider. You are willing and able to rethink your treatment plan and to do research to support a new plan. You have been researching treatments for your condition and keeping a side effects log about your current medications. When your insurance plan switches you to a new network, you choose a nurse practitioner. You are concerned that your current treatment plan relies too much on medication. You are concerned your current treatment plan relies too much on medication. You talk to the new provider about your current medications and side effects, showing your medication side effects log. You discuss additional measures, such as psychotherapy, meditation, and exercise, which may lower the amount of medication you need to take. (See Activity 4.3, “My Side Effects Log.”) 68

BRIDGE Strengths Concerns Priorities Health/Mental Health You are willing and able to seek advice about choosing therapists. You are open to seeking therapists who provide services online. You live in a small town. You are concerned that any therapist you choose will have ties to your family and friends. You are concerned about your right to privacy. Look for online reviews about counseling sites and therapists. Seek advice from your insurance plan provider, the Clinical Social Work Association, the database of therapists and support groups on, and other resources. Housing and Transportation You are willing and able to rethink your living arrangement. You know how to talk with your life coach about things that are upsetting to you. Your third roommate in six months just moved out. You and he had a bad argument. The previous two roommates just left while you were at work. After this big fight, you are concerned that you might be the problem. Talk with your life coach about setting ground rules with roommates. Talk with your life coach about whether you should/can afford to live alone. The College Bridge When you visit colleges, consider the “SAFER” checklist compiled by the website Social: Does the school offer social opportunities that are appropriate for students with your needs? Academic: Does the school provide academic supports (test proctors, assistive technology, training for the professors) that are appropriate for your needs? Functioning: Does the school help with the transition from high school to college and from semester to semester? Does the school provide support during academic breaks? Does the school offer psychological and counseling services? Does the school’s strategy for communicating with students fit your communication needs? Does the school have a structured peer-support program? Employment: Does the school (or the surrounding community) offer a range of part-time jobs for students with special needs? Can the school’s career center help you connect with internships and employment services during college breaks and after you graduate? Residential: Does the school have a residence hall that meets your needs? (Look at aspects such as lighting, noise, social spaces, and location relative to buildings where classes are held). How are roommates assigned? Will that system work for you? Are there other options? Adapted from: “20 Best Colleges for Students with Autism 2017-2018,” Best Value Schools, Is College the Right Choice? Less Effective Reasons to Apply My parents/caregivers expect me to attend college. My friends will be attending four-year colleges. I don’t know what else to do after high school. I don’t know where else I would fit. More Effective Reasons to Apply I want to be a lifelong learner. I want to explore career options I have not considered before. I want to acquire skills for a career. 69