Subject: Self-Determination in Transition Planning
For students with learning disabilities, self-determination is a crucial part of their transition planning and IEP. Is self-determination and self-advocacy part of the transition IEP, or is it something that must be added as a goal for the student? Have you seen self-determination goals work, not work, etc?
Self determination is a sophisticated term for "self advocacy". This has evolved with the revisions to IDEA and the provisions for transition requirements for disabled youth.
There cannot be enough "self advocacy" or "self determination" for disabled students. School personnel and parents must be creative to document ways that children of transition age begin to promote their strengths to better able enable them to be competitive in a complex society....in reality the world of work and futures planning.
By and large, what has traditionally taken place is that many of these choices have been guided by the adults in the special education process and have minimized the involvement of the disabled student. Please note, the involvement of the student has been a requirement within IDEA but has been grossly misunderstood, procedurally violated by local school districts, and conveyed in no substantial manner to the child.
Therefore, in the transition process please understand that the child's involvement is meaningful and necessary. Goals need to be established within IEPs that promote the child to promote or advocate their needs and their future endeavors. Think about it. Is this not what we do with all other children who are non-disabled? We ask our children all the time "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
The transition process is a positive process although regulated. The issue is whether other collegial agencies that are needed and necessary as part of these discussions are willing to be a part of the process.