Family-tested solutions
for Special Needs

Toddler and mother playing together

Family-tested solutions
for Special Needs

Toddler and mother playing together

Big Picture Transition Planning Resources

Here are some suggested website, blog, and podcast resources that relate to our three-part Big Picture Transition Planning Series, which includes Part 1 (Are you Asking the Right Question?) Part 2 (A Snapshot of Independent Life) and Part 3 (The Practice Apartment & Other Adventures).

Great Schools.org spells out the basics of school transition plans. It includes a list of activities that prepare students to play an active role in IEP meetings.

Center for Parent Information and Resources is an online library of fact sheets, training guides and short articles. Primarily designed to be a resource for the 100-plus Parent Training and Information Centers, the site offers a “Highly Rated” designation for material reviewed by Parent Center panels for quality, accuracy, and readability.

Understood.Org: This gargantuan site for attention and learning issues is so comprehensive you can get lost for hours. If the clock is ticking, go straight for the Transition Planning page.

When I need to zoom in for basic facts about the legal and financial aspects of transition planning, I often browse the websites of legal firms with expertise in special needs law and special education advocacy. Many have short, non-technical articles, blogs and podcasts that break down complicated topics into digestible pieces. Three sites I visited recently are Tennessee-based Special Needs Law Center, New York-based Littman Krooks, and the legal publisher NOLO.com.

Your state’s Medicaid consumer information center is often the best place to learn about programs that help young adults with disabilities find support to live independently. In general it doesn’t matter whether or not your family receives state-supported insurance. An adult who is 100 percent disabled is usually considered a Household of One, which means the individual qualifies for income-based services regardless of whether he or she still lives in the family home.)

National Parent Center on Transition and Employment lists more than a dozen free government-sponsored resources on its homepage, most available as downloadable PDFs. We also liked the tip sheet on “Making the Move from Elementary to Middle School” because the smart parent will begin building those bridges as early as possible.

Wendy Lowe Besmann

Wendy Besmann, Founder and Content Director of Get There Project, is the mother of a son with autism and bipolar disorder. She is the author of Family Road Map: A Step-By-Step Guide to Navigating Health, Education, and Insurance Systems for Families with Special Needs, Team Up for Your Child: A Step-By-Step Guide to Working Smarter with Doctors, Schools, Insurers and Agencies, and (with Kimberly Douglass, PhD) Young Adult Road Map: A Step-By-Step Guide to Wellness, Independent Living, and Transition Services for People in Their Teens and Twenties. She founded Get There Project’s primary partner Team Up for Families, an advocacy and training organization for families living with behavioral, developmental, and other special health needs.

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