New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense
What do we dream for students with disabilities? That after high school, they enter the adult service system, move into a group home, join a waiting list for vocational services, enter a sheltered workshop, and/or take an entry-level position at a fast-food restaurant, attached at the hip to a job coach (a job which—some believe—will be the highest level position the student will ever attain)?
Low expectations are the bane of teenagers and young adults with disabilities. Too many of us—parents, family members, educators, and others—don’t believe in their unlimited potential. On the other hand, we may feel the student is capable of successfully entering the real adult world of post-secondary education and work, but we don’t believe other people (college instructors, employers, etc.) will “accept” the young person with a disability. Simultaneously, unwritten—and erroneous—rules such as, “People with Down syndrome [or other conditions] can’t go to college,” dictate our actions.
In any case, life after high school is often the beginning of the end for many students with disabilities. Hopes and dreams are quashed when the “reality” of the adult world is faced. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Click here to continue.
The first step to a successful adult life is, of course, to dream big dreams! Parents must dream with and for their children . . . And, we need to really listen when children say, "When I grow up, I want to be a ————!"
Beyond High School: College and More!