Mainstream or non mainstream school? Changes from being a child to a teenager, teenager to adulthood. University, college or work? These are some of the transitions that parents told us that they sometimes worry about and would like to talk to others who have 'been there and done that.'
Daniel's mum, Susan said: 'Looking back, I wished I’d received more support on transitions for Daniel. Getting advice on the different types of schools available, who to contact and knowing tips such as the need to contact universities a few years before applying would have made our lives a lot less stressful and saved us a lot of time. Having a strong positive support network to turn to would have made a world of a difference.'
Tips from parents on how to help with your child's transitions:
- Whizz-Kidz Work Placements and Life Skills Training are here to help!
As well as providing mobility equipment, at Whizz-Kidz we run a whole range of other services for young disabled people, completely free of charge. Look on our webpages to find out more.
- Have an open discussion with your child
Seems quite an obvious tip, but talking and listening to your child's aspirations and aims is the first step towards enabling them to reach their potential. Whether it be university or an apprenticeship, learning to drive or changing schools, discuss together the possible options, share your personal experiences and give advice to them. Work out your plan of action together as a family.
Research, research, research! Use different sources to find more information, after all the saying goes 'knowledge is power.' The more informed both you and your child are, the easier it will be to make those important decisions which will help during those all important transition periods.
- Seek advice
If you know somebody who has experienced changing from non mainstream to mainstream school, or works in a particular sector that your child is keen on, or goes to an university that your child is interested in, don't be afraid to contact them and have a chat! Talking to people who have any type of connection to what you're interested in can bring a different perspective to your decisions.
- Be positive!
Situations may seem difficult, particularly if you face important decisions, but don't feel pessimistic. See things in a positive light, there may be a different perspective that you may have missed.
Useful links for transitions:
- The Transition Information Network (TIN) offers a magazine called My Future Choices. The magazine is aimed at young disabled people, families and professionals. It includes articles about transition projects around the UK, interviews with young disabled people about their dreams for the future, latest policy and charity news, resources and events. Various other resources are also provided.
- United Response is a national charity supporting people with disabilities to take control of their lives.
Useful links for higher education:
- Into Higher Education, a guide from Disability Rights UK. Provides a free helpline service for disabled students: 0800 328 5050
- Advice from UCAS on going into higher education
- National Union of Students' advice on funding
- About Disabled Students' Allowances from the government
Useful links for entering work:
- Whizz-Kidz Work Placements and Employability Training
- Advice for entering work from Disability Rights UK
- Work related learning for disabled young people via Action for Kids
- How to write a CV from National Union of Students (NUS)
National Careers Service advice