Maintain good records
Maintaining good records is very important. There could be numerous times throughout your life where you might need to produce an important record. Personal records that should be maintained are social security card, birth certificate, medical records, and all evaluations (from schools, specialist, doctors, and other agencies).
The use of the Guiding People through Systems (GPS) tool is offered as a public service to assist families organize their children’s important medical and school records into one convenient, online location. The Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities makes no warranties, either expressed or implied, concerning the privacy of the medical or personal information shared with this service.
Maintaining good records is important at any age. Come up with a system to maintain your important documents.
- How Does the DD System Work and Where Do I Start?
Attend, plan, and encourage your child to participate in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is the legal document that defines a child’s special education plan. An IEP includes the disability under which the child qualifies for special education services, the services the team has determined the school will provide, the child’s yearly goals and objectives and any accommodations that must be made to assist their learning. These accommodations can include Occupational Therapy (OT), Speech Therapy (SLP), and assistive technology. At this age, your child should participate as much as they are able or even lead their IEP.
Your Teacher/Intervention Specialist or your Special Education Director.
Encourage and promote independent living skills at home
Independent Living Skills include household chores, washing dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, sweeping/mopping, and taking out the trash. These activities are important to do around the house to teach responsibility as well as increase work skills. Daily or weekly routines established at home become learned over time and help promote independence.
Contact your Teacher/Intervention Specialist, your Special Education Director, or Your SSA Transition Specialist.
Knowing and making connections
Along with your school, there are other agencies that can assist you with meeting your future goals. Transition Specialists are Service & Support Administrators (SSAs) from the Stark County Board of DD that help you to prepare for life after graduation. They will work with your school and connect you to outside agencies such as Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), mental health services, and/or governmental assistance programs (Medicaid, Social Security, etc.). Transition SSA’s can also explain services available to you upon graduation through the Stark County Board of DD. The services they can explain are Medicaid waivers, waiver waiting lists and vocational opportunities/ day programming available for adults.
Other agency representatives are able to be a part of your child’s team and the transition process. It is good to be familiar with how they can help.
Being a part of the community doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Finding enjoyable activities and events to attend is meaningful in addition to home life and schoolwork
Your Teacher/Intervention Specialist or your Special Education Director. Stark County Board of DD (SCBDD), Intake, 330-479-3582 to get a Transition SSA for your child (ages 14-22).
Self Determination and Self Advocacy
Self-Determination refers to the ability and opportunity for students to make decisions for themselves. Self-Advocacy is the ability and opportunity to speak on behalf of one’s self.
- Encourage and support your child to participate and contribute in his/her IEP planning and meeting
- Ensure your child takes the required state tests or alternative assessments, with appropriate accommodations
Options regarding jobs or careers, continuing education, recreation, and independent living
Begin to think about and create a vision for your child’s life after high school.
In creating a vision for your student you need to assess their interests likes and dislikes.
Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities can provide services for individuals eligible that are interested in community employment.
As your child ages and becomes an adult if they continue receiving DD services the state mandates that your SSA review path to employment with you annually. This is to ensure you know your options and staff are helping you be as independent as possible.
- Explore post-secondary disability services - colleges, technology centers
- Obtain student work permit if applicable
- Obtain a picture ID
Begin process for Person Centered Plan (PCP)
Person centered planning is an essential part of individuals with developmental disabilities receiving services that help them live the life they want to live.
Ohio Self-Determination Association holds training for those interested.
- Use Employment First tools here: Backwards Planning
- Ensure you are up to date with all medical appointments and services
If eligible for SCBDD (Stark County Developmental Disabilities Board) services, investigate Family Support Services (FSS) funding
Two of the services that families can access are Family Support Services and Service and Support Administration. Family Support Services provide assistance to families to support loved ones/children in the family home through funding items such as medical supplies, camps, recreation, counseling or respite, etc. Service and Support Administration can advocate and connect families to community resources.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or call the Stark County Board of DD 330-479-3582