Transition Services for Students with
Developmental Disabilities in Eastern Nebraska
Transition planning prepares a high school-aged student to transition into adulthood. The student, the student’s family and the school staff will work together to build a plan addressing the student’s individual needs. Sometimes that plan involves the resources available at the Autism Center of Nebraska. ACN provides transition services for students aged 17-21 under contract with Omaha metro-area school districts. ACN completes the items identified in the student’s Individualized Education Plan, under the direction of a certified teacher, but offering a staff to student ratio of 1:1, or, in some cases, 2:1. The services are provided at the ACN day services site and provide a very structured, predictable routine with solid behavioral supports. The success of these services is evidenced with a graduation ceremony in the spring, with reduction of staffing ratios over time, and even with a successful return to the school district’s own transition program. ACN is proud to be supporting young people in the sometimes difficult transition from school to adult life.
What are Transition Services?
Transitional services for students with developmental disabilities are a set of coordinated activities that teach the individuals how to prepare for post-secondary life. The transition services we offer are not a one-size-fits all approach to independent living. The Autism Center of Nebraska carefully evaluates the special independent living skills and particular potential barriers based on each Omaha teen or young adult’s unique challenges.
The Autism Center of Nebraska will pair Omaha students with special needs with a transition teacher—a licensed special education teacher–who works with these individuals and their families to provide person-centered, individualized supports. Our transition teacher provides oversight and guidance to specially trained Direct Support Professionals to ensure the goals of the individual Education Plan are met, along with the supports necessary to assist students in learning how to manage their own behavioral challenges, and prepare for successful adult living.
Why Do I Need a Transition Plan for Students with Developmental Disabilities and Special Needs?
If you or a loved one is utilizing an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) from your Omaha-area school, that means your student is entitled to a free and appropriate education through the school year in which the student reaches the age of 21. Many students opt to go through a social graduation with peers and then continue their educational services through the district’s transition program. The district may opt to contract with a specialized provider, such as ACN, to ensure the IEP goals are met and the students has the individualized supports needed for success. However, with transition services from The Autism Center of Nebraska, each special needs student can master the independent living skills and utilize resources available to make this transition a rewarding and empowering experience.
Services and supports are based upon the approval IEP, with our certified Special Education teacher developing the teaching strategies and work tasks to meet the goals of the IEP, while providing behavioral supports to assist the student in being successful.
What Do Transition Services for Special Needs Include?
Every student with an IEP needs a transition plan, and the Autism Center of Nebraska is fully prepared to support this plan and provide activities and resources that prepare students for the following areas and beyond, depending on their individual needs. Here are the areas in which we assist our Omaha-area students and young adults:
- Instruction – Instruction in the ACN Transition Services is provided by trained Direct Support Professionals under the oversight of a certified special education teacher and in accordance with the elements of the Individual Education Plan (IEP). Instruction may include skill training in daily living skills, self-advocacy skills, self-management skills, etc.
- Related Services—ACN helps individuals with disabilities and their families use resources in their Omaha community that might be necessary to allow for equal access to integrate the student into their independent living or work environment. These services or accommodations can include: Physical or occupational therapy, mobility services, vehicle modification, service animals, mental health care, assistive technology, and more.
- Community Experiences—Our transitional service staff helps students with developmental disabilities find activities and experiences outside of school that will prepare them for life in the Omaha community and workforce. These experiences are outlined in the IEP and are individualized for the student.
- Development of Employment and Adult Living Objectives—These activities and experiences help students with IEPs develop career goals and plan for post-secondary life. These adult living objective-centered activities can include: Applying to Vocational Rehabilitation, apprenticeship programs or co-ops such as THE ART GARDEN, meeting with potential employers/job agencies, resume creation, learning interview skills, attending career fairs, enlisting in the military, applying for colleges, and more.
- Acquisition of Daily Living Skills—Some students require more instruction on daily living skills, which are many skills we do every day without much thought. The Autism Center of Nebraska may provide instruction on daily adult activities such as: doing laundry, grocery shopping, meal preparation, using a bank card, writing checks, emergency procedures, basic child care practices, time management, daily grooming and self-care, and creating and maintaining a daily routine.
With The Autism Center of Nebraska’s comprehensive transition services for special needs students, you and/or your child will be equipped to take on the world, and experience this transition into adulthood as an exciting time of growth and development. The conversation begins with the student’s home school district. Contact us today to begin the discussion about transition services!