Support Services is a broad category of assistance used to develop a student's highest level of independence. The video above provided one example of a support service - assistive technology. Other examples of support services include:
- environmental adaptations,
- natural supports,
- mentoring, and
- related services (e.g. Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT), Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), and transportation).
It is also important to note that over a student's school career, the support services provided will change to meet his needs. The video above reflected the changes in Jared's technology over time to adapt to his skills, goals, and needs. Identifying and developing support services during secondary education is a crucial link for a seamless transition. Long-term success requires the student to have:
- a connection with adult service providers,
- knowledge and experience utilizing natural supports, and
- incorporates technology (McDonnell, J. and Hardman, M.L. 2010).
It is important to not only to identify the supports a student needs, but also have adult support services in place prior to the student exiting school. It is essential for the student and family be key partners when identifying assistive technology needs. The student, family and the other case conference members should include a discussion on funding the technology, training on the equipment, and locations for repairing the technology to ensure long-term success. To begin this process with a student and family click here for a Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning.
Before you move on, click on the activity below to see other examples of students using various assistive technology from "low tech" to "high tech".
Activity not available on mobile devices (description)
An Example of Support Services Collaboration
Collaboration with support services professionals is an effective approach to design quality transition services prior to a student exiting secondary education. For example, occupational therapists (OT) play a vital role on a student's transition team. The OT provides expertise to teach functional daily life activities and job skills, and helps the support the development of an ergonomically friendly work setting (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2008). The graphic below highlights transition services and activities which could be provided by an OT to support the student to develop skills needed for a successful transition to adulthood.
Center for Youth and Adults with Conditions of Childhood (CYACC) Youth to Adult Transition Support Clinic provides transition resources and guidance to youth ages 11-22 with special needs (chronic conditions, developmental delay, physical disabilities).
Got Transition?- National Health Care Transition Center provides easy access to proven health care transition tools for professionals, youth, and families.
Health Care Transitions provides information for youth to help them transition from pediatric to adult health care services. The information provided help youth understand how to talk to doctors and take a more active role in their health care. A variety of materials are provided to enhance the health care transition-related knowledge and skills of adolescents, young adults, families and health care professionals.
Healthy Transitions: Moving from Pediatric to Adult Care also provides tools for care coordination, keeping a health summary, and setting priorities during the transition process as well as a variety of interactive tools that foster self determination and collaboration.