I was just emailing a couple of parents this morning and wanted to combine what I was telling them about with the hope that it benefits others with kids in 5th grade and above; I am a parent like all of you not a provider so please take my message for the attempt at free advice that it is.
- If your doing ABA are you using measurable goals and mastering them? If you are not mastering goals what are you doing? I know of many who are paying for expensive babysitting! If your child has not mastered everything in the VB-Mapp this is a great curriculum and assessment and your provider should be using it although some use the ABLLS-R. I knew of one truly challenged consultant who was using all 3 at the same time…not impressive.
- Consider the goal of happy and employed. If your child is not going to pass the SOL’s (you likely know if they are or are not at this point though a few dance the line most are clearly on one side or the other) what is being done to make sure they gain skills to become employed? Skill done independently, hygienically and without elopement are necessary to even be considered for Woodrow Wilson Rehab Center which is great for our older kids who have then a 90% chance of employment a staggering number next to FCPS’s 13.5%. Here is their link http://wwrc.virginia.gov/
- If your child is not getting a standard or advanced diploma (this means again passing many SOL’s in math, science, English and history…not just one subject and over multiple years) have you been told about the really great vocational programs available in Fairfax County?? Most used to be specific for those kids who were less academic but these days we are now competing with kids who are building college resume’s which blows my mind and makes me want to go postal but I don’t think many know this reality. Here is the site for options like culinary arts, electronics, data word processing, child care and more http://www.fcps.edu/is/cte/index.shtml
- Your efforts NOW (at any age for your child) will directly result in success or failure! this is not the case for typical kids as all of us have heard the Cinderella stories. Compliance, delayed reinforcement, self control, ability to transition and breaking rigidity all factor into being employed and living with others. Working on it now will be infinitely easier I assure you than later.
- PLEASE think about your child who has ONLY a 13.5% chance of being employed post FCPS graduation if they are NOT getting a standard diploma. Ask at the IEP what the plan is so that your child is not part of the almost 86.5% of our kids who are UNEMPLOYED (I say almost because some of our kids do get a standard or advanced diploma…not that many and no…FCPS did not take data on this).
I wish your families great things!
All the Best,