What happens when your disabled child gets to the end of their school education? Well, that all depends on your disability and the severity of it. If you are lucky, or unlucky depending on your point of view (I go with lucky) your child will have had a wonderful 12 years of education, either in a special needs school or, if appropriate, with support in a mainstream school. Then, again if you are lucky they may be able to stay at the same special needs school for the post-16, 6th form, provision. But what then? What happens when your child gets to the end of, in my son’s case 15 years of school? What do we do now?
My son has a learning disability, amongst other things. He has a speech delay and motor skills delay too. His speech, whilst there, isn’t always clear and a lot of sounds sound the same. I often think he’s saying walk instead of work, and vice versa. His motor skills are still developing, although this isn’t very noticeable any more, until you see him run or throw or jump…
Anyway, what next? My son is fortunate, he has choices. His learning disability, whist severe enough for him to need special education – he’s about the level of a 6 or 7 year old in most subjects – isn’t so severe that he won’t be able to get some independence. He will be able to go to the local college and access their Pathway to Work and Independent Living courses. From this he will be able to access other courses when he decides what he wants to do. My son has applied to the college to do this and should have and interview and find out if he has been successful before Easter.
Unlike most children, those with disability can have access to education, as long as they are still learning and progressing, up to the age of 25 instead of 18 or 19. This means that as long as it is still beneficial, my son can continue in education for another 5 years.
As part of today’s Zero to Hero, we were asked to include a new element in a post. I’m not sure what I can include that I don’t normally. I have included links to external, and my own blog, content; I’ve included photos which I have uploaded and images using a URL; in the past I’ve even embedded video. However, what I thought I would do on this post is create a photo gallery, I hope, of my son including photos from different stages of his life.
Tomorrow’s NaBloPoMo prompt asks us to write about our tender point, my son is mine so I’m going to cheat and use this for that prompt too.