Independent Living Skills and Cognitive Disabilities: Reduce Anxiety, Solve Problems

Posts tagged ‘community-based instruction’

Transition to Independent Living: What Happens After High School?

Students gather on the sidewalk in front of th...

Students gather on the sidewalk in front of the middle school after school on a Friday afternoon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Individuals with disabilities go through many transitions in their school career as they progress through elementary, middle school and high school. At each stage, teams discuss how to make the transition as smooth as possible. What is expected at the next level? Will teachers understand his or her needs? How can we make it less stressful?Even more worrisome to some families might be… What happens after high school?Transition Planning Begins Early

Beginning in the middle school years, the IEP team plans for adulthood by writing transition goals related to education, work, and independent living. Transition goals are meant to help the team focus on the big picture as they write IEP goals.

Often, however, IEP goals are written to target state assessment objectives or class schedules. This is to be expected because schools are accountable for student learning as measured by assessments and high school credits. There’s one saving grace, though…

If IEP goals, including transition goals, have not been met by the time the student graduates from high school, he or she can receive transition services from the school district.

Transition Services Offered in the Community 

When transition services are offered through community-based instruction, students have more opportunities to apply skills in community settings, which in turn develop independence and confidence. This is a rich time for learning.

For more information, see

or this article from Easter Seals:

Smart Steps(TM), LLC (c)2013

Why is Smart Steps Developing Mobile Apps for Persons with Disabilities?

Dr. Cindy Fisher, Owner

I am a special educator with over 30 years’ experience teaching students with a variety of disabilities, ages 5-21. Currently, I work with 18 to 21 year-olds in transition services.

My students spend a lot of time in restaurants, in stores, at the public library, on job sites and at the local community college. I noticed common problems they faced and implemented various strategies to help them become more self-sufficient.

One day, it occurred to me that it would be a lot easier if I could incorporate a particular strategy into an smartphone application. Wow, if it could help in this particular situation, what if we had apps to help with other issues? At that point, I realized I was onto something.

Our mission is to identify what students need in the community and then to create mobile applications to make their lives easier. The first app for independent living will be released very soon, so please check back!

Smart Steps(TM), LLC  (c)2013

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