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My Child is Age 12-15

Families with students attending middle school will find that the conversations at the IEP often are directly linked to the academic content being taught at that grade. Reading, writing, math, language (including social skills) and speech skills are often the cornerstone of the IEP discussion. However, consideration for the following soft skills as well as skills related to self-determination should be a part of the IEP discussion.

The two key components to focusing on better outcomes are soft skills and self-determination. Here are a few suggestions for students at this age:

Consideration for Soft Skills:
  1. Making wants/needs known appropriately
  2. Self control
  3. Personal responsibility
  4. Getting along with others
  5. Waiting for their turn
  6. Transitioning between activities and places appropriately for age
  7. Respecting others and their thoughts
  8. Developing a sense of formal versus informal — how I speak to my friends is different than with adults sometimes
  9. Flexibility — not everything always goes according to plan

Consideration for Self-Determination:
  1. Give student opportunities to make choices (e.g., what to wear to school, book at the library, activity at recess, ask the student’s opinion)
  2. Teach problem solving process (e.g., what is the problem, what are my options, what are the consequences — pros and cons, what steps do I take, is the problem solved)

    IDEAL:
    Identify the problem and opportunities,
    Define goal,
    Explore possible strategies,
    Anticipate outcomes and act,
    Look back and learn

  3. Explore “how students learn” (e.g., what’s easy, what’s hard, what helps you learn, what interferes with your learning, what are your favorite/least favorite things to do)
  4. Explore aspects of the disabling condition (upper elementary)
  5. Have your student participate in the aspects of the IEP that are appropriate for your child’s age
Select your student’s current age to get information on what you and
your school team can do now to support the transition process.

Ages 3 to 5 Ages 6 to 11 Ages 12 to 15 Ages 16 to 21
My Child is 12-15
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Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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