Welcome to the Blog
I am a special education teacher in southern Delaware.  I work in a special school servicing students between the ages of 3 and 21 with cognitive and developmental disabilitie. At the beginning of the current school year I entered a new position as the Transition Specialist.  Helping students prepare for, or transition into their adult lives after they exit school is very important.  We want to make this happen as smoothly as possible and we want to prepare the students and their families for this major change in their lives. In Delaware, transition planning for students begins at age 14.  In the student's IEP specific transition goals and activities are documented.

I have been learning a great deal since the beginning of the school year.  For the last 24 years I have been a classroom teacher.  I have always worked with small groups of special needs students in self-contained classrooms in public schools.  My experience has included working with students with orthopedic impairments and as I mentioned above students with cognitive and developmental disabilities.  Over the years, the students have ranged from having moderate to severe disabilities and specific categories have included students with Down Syndrome, learning disabilities, deafblindness, cerebral palsy, and social and emotional disabilities.

Now, as the Transition Specialist in my school I am responsible for the transition planning of all students between the ages of 14 and 21.  As a result my current caseload includes 56 students.  The transition services I provide includes the assessment of vocational, independent living and education and training skills.  I also help students and their families select appropriate adult service providers and establish relationships with governmental agencies.  (Delaware's Human Services agency is the Department of the Health and Social Services, or DHSS, and within this agency are various divisions that focus on specific areas.  The division I deal with mostly is DDDS - the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services.  I help students and families complete and submit applications to DDDS.)  In addition I organize and supervise in-school and community based work programs and each day I teach one class focusing on work skills in a different classroom.

I hope to use this blog to disseminate information about a range of topics dealing with the transition from school to adult life.  Many parents and caregivers are confused about all of this and there are a variety of topics that can be discussed.  "How do I select an appropriate adult service provider?"  "How do I secure public transportation services?"  "What does 'age of majority' mean and how can I maintain legal guardianship of my child after they turn 18?"  All of these questions and more can be and will be address here.  So, make a point to check in periodically and I will do my best to share what information I can to help take the confusion and trepidation out of the transition process.