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A partnership for communication on developmental disabilities issues in Washington state
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Employment

It's never too early to prepare for life after school. Regardless of disability, your son or daughter can find employment and create a fulfilling life in the community. It will take planning and effort, but it is possible.

The key is to start thinking about job-related or post-secondary education goals long before your child enters or graduates from a high school transition program, because there is no guarantee that services or supports will be available after age 21.

TIps and Resources to Help Guide Your Way

  • Include work-related goals in your child's IEP. "A Job Post-School Outcome" is the key phrase to use in making sure IEP goals are related to employment. Examples of work related goals: Identifying job skills and preferences, gaining work experience, learning how to use transportation and learning how to write checks and handle money.
  • Enlist friends and relatives in the job search.
  • Encourage different work experiences to find the right fit and build a resume
  • Reinforce work-related skills at home, such as: finishing chores, going over the family budget, and shopping.
  • Make sure your son or daughter is a full and meaningful participant in his or her IEP and life goal setting, career planning and decision-making process.
  • Push hard to ensure s/he has a job before leaving school.