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Questions to Answer in Preparation for Your Childs
Individual Transition Plan (ITP) Meeting
Before attending your child's ITP meeting, the entire family (the individual
transitioning, parents, siblings, extended family, significant friends, etc.) should sit
down together, and thoroughly discuss the issues described below. Try to form a dream that
everyone can share. Write down your dream so that you can give copies to all the
professionals involved and community members who might help you and your child reach your
dream. List any questions you have, or information you need to get during the transition
meeting. By being prepared to discuss these issues, you can make the ITP process a
valuable tool in making your dreams come true. Remember, you are forming a dream that you,
your child, and family think would be best for a high quality of life. Do not simply try
to predict what you expect will be available for your child.
- Where do you envision your child living when he or she is no longer in school? Consider
this plan related to your child when he or she is 30, 50, or 70 years old? How much and
what kind of daily assistance or support will your child need? What qualities about a home
are most important from your child's perspective?
- What do you envision your child doing with his or her days after he or she is no longer
in school? What would you child find meaningful and motivating? Is employment part of the
dream? What kind of work and workplace? How will your child contribute to his or her
community? How will your child increase his or her self-esteem?
- What additional training or education do you envision your child having during his or
her adult years? In what setting will this training take place? How will additional
training or education influence where your child lives, works, and recreates?
- What do you envision your child doing for enjoyment during his or her adult life? What
skills would enhance his or her ability to enjoy his or her spare time? What activities
will he or she enjoy doing alone at home? What activities will he or she participate in
with others or out in the community?
- Who will be the most important people to your child during his or her adult years? Who
will be his or her friends? What activities will your child share with others? Where will
your child have opportunities to meet other people?
- What help do you envision your child will need throughout his or her life in making
decisions and protecting his or her self interest? Who will provide any help needed,
especially many years from now? What steps taken now might help make sure someone is there
to help your child with this later in his or her life?
- What do you envision to be your child's chief means of financial support throughout his
or her life? Is your estate structured in such a way that your child will not be in
jeopardy of losing any government supports he or she might have? If your child will need
assistance managing his or her resources, who will do that?
- What other areas of your child's life, such as medical issues, transportation, and
religious concerns, may also need special planning?
You may already have a shared dream for all these aspects of your child's life. If so,
you should make the effort to involve more people in supporting your dream and working to
bring it about. The ITP meeting is one way to do that.
You may find all of this overwhelming and be inclined to put off this kind of
discussion. However, it is never too soon to sit down with your family and start to
develop your vision of the future. Only careful consideration of these issues can prepare
you for the ITP discussion and help you inform the people who arethere to help you plan.
Be assertive; stick by your dream. Remember you and your child will be the ones to live
Other steps you should take before the ITP meeting include:
- Educate yourself about the intent of the law that instituted the ITP in Texas so you can
advocate for your rights and the rights of your child.
- Ask school personnel, members of parent support groups, or others such as myself about
the role of the human services agencies in the transition process and the types of
services each agency provides.
- Ask the school to invite individuals to the ITP meeting that you feel need to
participate. In addition to agency personnel, include family and community members who
will play support roles for your child. The time and location of this meeting may need to
be adjusted to accommodate their participation.
Developed by David Wiley, Outreach
Services, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
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