My child just started getting special education services, what do I need to know?
Be sure to watch I’m New to Special Education … What do I Need to Know? video. This informative video will guide you on your child’s educational journey through Special Education services. Please visit the LISD Special Program’s website for resources and additional information.
My child is struggling and I suspect he/she has a disability. Who should I contact?
If you have questions regarding services for students between the ages of 18-22 who have a disability, contact the district Child Find department.
What services can be provided for my child that qualifies for services?
Please review the description of all Leander ISD Special Education Services.
How can I prepare my child for a smooth transition to a new school or program?
The transition to adulthood is complex. Planning for further education, employment, adult living skills, transportation, community integration, and social skills are all areas to focus on with any student, graduating or staying for 18+ Transition Services.
Independent Living Checklist - created by College Living Experience to support the smooth transition to adulthood with the skills needed to manage adult life as independently as possible
Post-Secondary Education options that are disability-specific are always an option. Take a look at the Think College website and information specific to the Austin/Cedar Park/Leander area.
Person-Centered Planning Transition Tools are student-centered processes to support higher independence and self-determination.
My child has a disability (or I suspect he/she has a disability). What kind of support will be available when my child becomes an adult?
If your child has an impairment or suspected impairment that may require long-term assistance in their adulthood, don't put off placing your child on the Medicaid Waiver program list. Navigate Life Texas will explain all you need to know about Medicaid Wavier services including who to call to get your child on the list today. The list is long, so don't delay!
Texas Parent 2 Parent has a Transition To Adulthood series and many resources that are supportive of the family as the child ages.
LISD has a brochure to summarize Medicaid Waiver Services.
Are there any LISD resources that will help me plan for my child's transition to adulthood?
Person-Centered Planning Transition Tools in LISD are student-centered processes to support higher independence and self-determination.
Don't miss LISD's Transition to Adulthood Meetings for parents and students to:
- vocational services,
- agency services,
- housing options,
- post-secondary educational opportunities,
Meeting schedules are on the Special Education page and are sent through Remind.
LISD Transition Slide Guide - this guide becomes even more critical as a tool to support the student and the parents of a child with disabilities at the High School level so that there is a vision for the child as they age and that not only academics but also functional performance skills are being addressed in some manner in the IEP. This tool gives purpose to the conversation of transition while planning with the ARDC.
Texas created a brochure called Transition Planning in Texas: Fast Facts for Parents. This information equips each family with an overview of what is important in the areas of transition and how to make sure that transition is within the IEP. This brochure has key information to support an easier transition into adulthood.
Texas set up the Student-Centered Transition Network to support families, educators and students. This network provides up-to-date information on all topics important to making sure students in Texas have every door open and good transition planning as the basis.
Age of Majority - this topic is of major importance as the child becomes 17 years old. Whether the student can serve as their own guardian at age 18 or will need to have guardianship considered is a focus of this topic.
Kansas University has led the charge in the area of transition. The KU website is full of great materials on transition planning, college, work and student independence
Oklahoma University through the Zarrow Center has been providing excellent guidance on the area of transition not only for educators but also for parents and students. This center has led the nation in the area of making sure that IEP's are Student Directed. The new Sooner Works post-secondary program at OU supports adults with IDD to attend college.
Texas Transition & Employment Guide
How can I help my child develop self-advocacy skills?
Guidance for parents on How Can My Child Be Involved in the IEP Process? Partner with the Case Manager to continue including your child in their 504 or ARD meetings at an increased level of participation each year with the goal of allowing the student to lead their meetings. By age 18 student is expected to fully participate and advocate for their needs in their 504 and ARD meetings.
Self-Determination Skill of the Month provides families with guidance on how to build self-determination skills throughout a child's educational years.
The US government supports a self-determination website and it has a plethora of resources and ideas.
LISD created a brochure on the Self-Determination Skills to inform parents on what it takes to support your child to "feeling capable and acting that way" as they age
There are 22 skills needed to be a strong self-advocate. Use of this self-advocacy checklist can support the conversations with the team on specific skills that are still concerning to the adult student and to the parents.
Ever wonder how your child can be authentically involved in the ARD process at the High School Level? This Student Involvement in the ARD Continuum provides ideas to grow skills to empower your child and honor his/her voice and choice.
Developing good roommate skills will positively impact your child over their lifetime no matter who they will live within life. This roommate skills checklist gives you a list of critical skills to develop over time that will help your child manage many different kinds of roommate situations.
What are my options for supporting my child when they turn 18 and become a legal adult?
Families with a student approaching the age of 18 will want to prepare by reading about Transfer of Rights at Age of Majority to understand what changes when a person with a disability becomes an adult. Student involvement in learning about the concepts of Age of Majority is essential as the person gets older.
Families are urged to consider a Supported Decision Maker agreement. This agreement provides parents/guardians with the ability to be involved and offer guidance in legal decisions:
Not sure if your child will need a legal guardian? This Texas Guide to Adult Guardianship will guide you on the various options or alternatives to guardianship.
LISD created a brochure to explain more about Medicaid Waivers. The waiver lists don't have an age when you have to get your adult child "on the lists" but it is advisable to consider getting on the funding lists sooner than later. These funding lists support adults with complex needs as the person ages.
Will my child be able to attend college?
Explore your student's post-secondary education opportunities:
The following resources can provide families and adult students with information for planning beyond high school years and beyond:
Difference between High School and College when a person has a disability
Make sure that your child can state at least 5 of their strengths, preferences, interests, and needs (SPIN). By 9th grade, this list should expand to 10 or more in the area of strengths.
Statewide college programs specifically for students with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities:
Every parent has dreams for their child. In this Student Outcomes document, the writer lists common hopes that most families are aiming at for their child.
For more information, contact your child's Case Manager.
Don't miss LISD's Transition to Adulthood Meetings for parents and students for guidance on topics including:
- vocational services,
- agency services,
- housing options,
- post secondary educational opportunities,
How do I get my son/daughter ready for employment?
Building self-determination skills each and every month will set your child on their path to a future of meaningful employment.
Connect with Texas Workforce Solutions/Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Consider pre-employment services or paid employment services based on the student's job readiness. Consider the Summer Earn and Learn (SEAL) 5-week paid internship with a Job Coach at a community business provided by TWS, if your child qualifies for this opportunity.
Starting with ARD prior to the student's 14th birthday (12 for students with Autism), ARD Committees will discuss transition services which will include a discussion on plans for supporting students as they develop employability and self-help skills. The Texas Transition and Employment Guide is a comprehensive resource to assist you and your child as they prepare to enter the workplace and plan for post-secondary education.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses are offered at each High School in Leander ISD. TEA's website on CTE is very informative. The courses through CTE can be modified, if necessary, by the ARDC. A student could earn an Endorsement by completing the sequence of courses specified in the LISD Course Catalog.
In order to hold and keep a paying job, a researcher found that there are 25 important skills that a person needs. The Vocational Competencies Informal Assessment is the tool that LISD is using to grow those 25 needed skills. Yearly, the ARDC should target 3 to 5 skills a year that are thoughtfully discussed and infused into the child's week in some way whether it is in general education or in specialized classes through Special Education.
Grade 3 through age 19 Chore List - a good rule of thumb is to have your child have the same number of chores per week that they are old that are developmentally appropriate (ex. 17 years old = 17 chores per week)
Independent Living Skills Checklist for any student who is aiming at moving out to a dorm, apartment, duplex, house after graduation. This skill-building must start in Middle School and continue throughout High School. Emphasizing each of these skill areas at home will greatly improve the child's ability to maneuver adulthood.
ADA Accommodation Letter - An individual with a disability has the choice to disclose their disability or not. An ADA letter is a way to help them organize their thoughts and to advocate for reasonable accommodations and supports in an employment setting. They can either hand it to an employer or provide it to the HR department once they are hired. Guidance for Writing an ADA Letter (Sample ADA Letters)
An excellent book to read when a person has high functioning Autism: Developing Talents by Temple Grandin
Will my child qualify for disability benefits as an adult?
If your child has an impairment that will require long-term assistance in their adulthood, consider applying for SSI at age 18 with adult standards. Social Security PASS Plan will allow an adult on SSI to hold a job and earn income.
Will my child's future employers provide him/her with support while on the job?
When in a job setting, students with disabilities are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Access the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for an overview of reasonable accommodations your child could receive in a job setting.
The Office of Disability Employment Policy is a website that has all of the up-to-date information on employment for adults with disabilities.