High school is a completely different ball game compared to elementary and middle school. At this point in their lives, children are becoming teenagers and want independence and control over their time, especially time spent outside of school. If your child has special needs, the challenges may be different. Help your teenager focus on first making a good transition into high school and – with that as a basis – expect their focus to shift to time spent outside of school.
Here are 15 ways to make sure your child transitions with ease into high school:
- Plan a pre-transition meeting with your child’s middle school IEP team and high school special education to determine if the high school special education program will be able to provide your child with the learning environment that they need to be a successful student
- Attend planning meetings for choosing high school courses with your child.
- Ask your child about her goals for high school and after high school. Listen.
- Help your child set high and realistic goals.
- Tell your child about your hopes for his future.
- Ask the school for information and a school handbook prior to the beginning of the year. This should be provided in the language you and your child speak at home. Read this information and talk about it with your child.
- Check out the school web site.
- Ask about opportunities for students to shadow a high school student.
- Attend orientations and open house events.
- Visit the school building with your child before the school year begins to help her become familiar with the new building.
- Talk with your child about what clubs, teams or other activities he can join at school.
- Encourage your child to develop relationships with other students with similar interests.
- Talk with other parents and students about their experiences in this school.
- Ask open-ended questions like, “How’s it going?” or “What have you been learning?”
- Expect your child’s transition to be successful. Remember the adjustment will take time. Your positive outlook can help your child; let him know you are confident in his ability to do well.