lynnr asks:

What to do when high school refuses to transition 18 year old student in self contained class to independent living program?

My son is in a self contained class. He is 18 and finds the work and the job sites boarding. He been tagging and folding and repeating the same things for a few years now. i found a wonderful program that teaches independent living. my sons wants to go. THe school district explained that it is a post 2nd program and they wound'nt not be reimbursed by the state there fore he can't attend. They never even upped his program. I was told i can have him leave. My son does go to a Boces program in the moring , retail which he did last year. My son has 2 more years after this year. My son is truly independent and wants to get a job and live independent one day. i find if i keep him in this cookie cutter program he will has no self esteem left. I wanted to hire a lawyer but they wanted 40,000 and i was also told because they transition him i won't win. I truly feel if they gave my son a real job with support now he would be able to work a 8 hour job when he is 21 with limited assistance.In the long run my son would be more able to support himself. I want to know what makes a high school state cerified when there is no goals or test in a special ed class. i know the school it self is state board but what is done in the special ed class is not?? any help is greatly appreicated There is no true travel trainning, or real banking skills its all done on ditto's,. he is not main stream for gym,its funny because he coached younger kids for basketball, works at mcdonals2x a week thanks lynn
In Topics: Special needs
> 60 days ago



Nov 11, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Hello Lynn R.

Thank you for writing to JustAsk. You sound very proud of your son and a great supporter of his endeavors.  I commend you for wanting to do the best you can to ensure his future is bright and successful.

 I will assume from your mention of a BOCES that you live in the state of New York.  If this is true, then you should contact the  State office for Special Education.  Here is the link:

This website has a lot of information to assist a parent with learning about different programs and the educational laws within the state.  If needed, there also is a link for disputing a ruling by a school district, etc.

If you live outside of New York then again, feel free to contact your state's Department of Education and ask to be connected with the people in the special education department.  They can help you understand the type of program your son has and what could be the next step for him as he leaves high school.

Note that a student with significant learning challenges is often entitled to education up to and through 21 years of age.  This will depend on what kind of disability he has and the degree of severity.  Furthermore, there are parent advocates who can assist you.  These people are more savvy and able to negotiate through the special education process and to help parents through it, as well.

I wish you much luck for both you and your son.

Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families

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