Research shows that THE BEST predictor of success in living, learning, and working after high school for kids with disabilities is their parent figures holding high expectations of them. It was certainly true for me. My prognosis of Dyslexia at the age of 7 included a recommendation that my parents consider alternative vocational options for me. The report we received stated I would have difficult graduating from high school and "was not likely to succeed" in college. Luckily, my parents let me know I would need to work harder and longer than others, and succeed in college anyway. Their expectations for my future attendance in college DID NOT CHANGE-- and they were the ones who were right about what I could accomplish.
Today, kids with a Dyslexia diagnosis are often bound for college. No one even think twice about it. Today, kids with Down Syndrome, kids on the Autism Spectrum and kids with other more physically obvious disabilities than mine are facing what I faced when I was young. We've come a long way, and have a long way to go.
My heart was sure warmed when I watched this young man consider what the rest of his life might look like. I hope this is just a first step in his college career, and that, down the road, he and his family will consider the possibility of him becoming a full-fledged college student. Just like anyone else, those of us who learn differently might start at one place, but don't have to end there. Maybe a baby step is needed at first, but will open the doors to the exact same college experience anyone else would have. Sky's the limit. Take a look at his excitement:
Meaningful family engagement in school and high expectations for our kids throughout their life spans MEAN EVERYTHING no matter how scary or out of reach a goal might seem in a given moment. The Guideposts for Success can help family members get started in thinking about how to make these concepts fit in their specific situation for their child. You can also find a number of local supports and tools at the ASK Resource Center's Transition Website funded by the Parent Training and Information Center of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Education.
What success stories in postsecondary transition do you have to share?