September 26, 2009

Shoot for the Stars - college!

Alex wants to go to college - just like her cousins. I think Alex should go to college too. It is something I research whenever I can. I have read and heard of adults with Down Syndrome who do go to college. There are also schools in the US that work with young adults with developmental disabilities in a college environment.

By law, Alex is able to stay in high school until she is 21. She will graduate with her class in 2012 and then she will transition in to a life skills program at the high school. Whether she does this and then goes away to a college, or goes to college when she graduates with her class, is still a big question mark.

This program is in its infancy in our school district. Before last year, the students with special needs who opted to stay in our public school system, participated in the special education program and worked on the same skills they had spent the last four years learning. So I watch and wait.

The idea of a transition program is not new. It is only new to our school district. One of the challenges we have had in our rural school district is around funding. As in the rest of the world – when there is not enough money to go around, the programs that can provide the best benefits, but services the fewest amount of people are sacrificed. More about this later.

Enclosed is an article I found that was published in the New York Times 2006. I am hopeful that the post secondary educational system has become even more progressive in the last three years - so I search.

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