Executive Function Practice
There are many programs and classes that are supposed to help teach people organization. But knowing the "right answer" on a test and using the strategy in life are very different. Working with students on "real life" tasks and teaching them how to use techniques and strategies when it applies to their own situation is a more effective way of learning. Learning to look ahead, break big tasks into smaller chunks, have margin, use a calendar, and build in rewards and accountability are some of the skills that lead to success. The student needs to practice and become comfortable using these skills in order to progress through high school and achieve greater independence.
Students often experience a disconnect between school and life. Schoolwork seems boring and pointless, especially in high school. Sometimes picturing a future doing something interesting and enjoyable helps students bridge the gap between the present work and the future benefits. Taking the time to understand the student's interests and abilities is crucial and validates their worth. Investigating the educational requirements and the training programs or colleges that offer the course of study often connects their high school work to the next step. Students today who are conditioned to expect immediate gratification need help thinking beyond NOW and support to plan for the future.
Young adults benefit from pre-vocational experiences and on the job training, but for students with learning differences entering this arena of life often requires more preparation, creative vision, and support. Everyone needs purposeful activity and a place to contribute as well as a means of financial support. With guidance, practice, and a never give up attitude, Strategies for Success will help with workforce preparation and making a contribution to the community.
Sometimes young people realize there is a surprising gap between their capabilities and the skills they need for the next step in life. At this age, though, there may be resistance to learning from parents which can make progress difficult. Using an individualized approach, Strategies for Success can address areas of weakness whether it is self-care, homemaking, basic budgeting, or community-based experiences to help bridge the gap.
Personal Network Connections
Sometimes loved ones need ongoing help because their limitations prevent them from achieving independent lives. Texas Parent to Parent has recognized this circumstance and has developed the Pathways to Adulthood Transition Program to help families navigate this stage of life. An important piece of this program is Personal Network Connections. Carol Regli is a trained facilitator for this program.
Personal Networks are described in A Good Life, by Al Etmanski, as: "a group of men and women who voluntarily commit to support a person who is at risk of being isolated and vulnerable by reason of their disability. Each person of the network has a relationship with the focus person and with every other member of the network. Through their relationship, they offer support, advocacy, monitoring, and companionship." "The best guarantee of a safe and secure future for a person with a disability is the number of caring, committed friends, family members, acquaintances and supporters actively involved in his or her life.”
The benefits of creating a personal network for your son or daughter include:
providing social opportunities and fun together
assisting with planning for the future, making decisions and carrying out plans
multiplying a family's resources, energy, ideas, and connections
reassuring siblings that they will not face the future care of their brother or sister alone
providing a way for families to work for the well-being of their son or daughter when the parents can no longer be available.
Transition to Adulthood
School provides structure and support for students and families. As a student enters high school and graduation is on the horizon families enter uncharted territory and may need help to prepare for the next phase of life. individualized assistance from Strategies for Success can help your child make the transition.