Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Son Isn't Ready to Graduate

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Jerome J. Schultz, Ph.D.

Q: My son is a senior at a vocational school. He was diagnosed with ADHD before his second birthday and he also has LD. He has been in learning and emotional support classes since halfway through first grade. I feel he's not ready to graduate and he agrees. We met with "the powers that be" at his school and they say he is ready to graduate and there's nothing more they can do for him. I feel like he's just being pushed out because they don't want to bother with him anymore. He's falling through the cracks. Any suggestions?

A: There certainly is something they can do for him. In fact, if they don't they are in violation of Federal Law. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that beginning no later than age 16, each student must also have included in the IEP a statement of the transition services that he needs in order to prepare for post-school outcomes. These include employment, postsecondary education, adult services, independent living, and community participation.

In the past, IEPs were designed to cover services for a year. Now that transition services are required, planning looks at life after high school, and may even involve coordinated planning with adult service and community agencies.

The IDEA formally defines transition services as "...a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation." If necessary, the schools must provide a functional vocational evaluation in preparation for transition to work.

Providing these services takes time and the commitment of a school system. But remember, it's not a choice -- it's the law.

For a comprehensive explanation of transition planning, visit the website of the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) at http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/newsdig/nd21txt.htm#17.

More on: Expert Advice

Jerome (Jerry) Schultz is the founding clinical director of the Learning Lab @ Lesley University, a program that provides assessment, tutoring, and case management services for children with learning challenges. Schultz holds a Ph.D. from Boston College, and has completed postdoctoral fellowships in both clinical psychology and pediatric neuropsychology.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks