Self-advocacy is a process that begins early for a child with disabilities, and continues all through life. It is important to  begin teaching your student how to self-advocate early.  Self-advocacy can be accomplished in a variety of ways. For example, interviewing a young child about interests, strengths, and favorite classes would provide student input. An older child may be able to write or dictate some information for their Postsecondary Transition Plan (PTP). As the student becomes more confident to participate, opportunities to do so need to be planned and implemented.

Teaching your student how to self-advocate early will allow your child to have as much practice as possible prior to becoming eighteen when parental rights transfer to the student who is receiving special education services. This practice will help the student be able to advocate in all areas of adult life including education, employment, finances, recreation, living arrangements, legal and medical issues. It is important for everyone on the student's team including family, teachers, friends, and service providers to have buy-in and a common understanding of self-advocacy. The role of these key people is to provide support, encouragement, and expand the possibilities for high expectations of the student.


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CCOT Resources & Services

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  • Ingredients for Successful IEP Transition Planning - Pizza Placemat
    This resources shows a visual outline of the PTP process and provides additional resources. Wisconsin state law requires transition plans to be part of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all students with disabilities aged 14 and above. The Postsecondary Transition Plan (PTP) is the online application used to help prepare students for life after high school.
  • Developing Meaningful Independent Living Goals as an IEP Team
    The Measurable Postsecondary Goal in the area of Independent Living Skills should be developed based on results of the most current age appropriate transition assessment. It is important that the entire IEP team has input in determining if the child needs independent living goals. Regardless of the type of disability the student has, independent living goals may be necessary to live as independently as possible once the student graduates from high school.
  • What School Counselors Need to Know about Special Education Transition and IEP Planning
    You are Important! School Counselors can provide many valuable insights at an IEP meeting, from knowledge of postsecondary education programs to school classes and preparations that lead to successful post-school entry. Counselors can help IEP team members think ahead and prepare students in their course of study so they have the scope and sequence of classes needed for admission to postsecondary programs or entry into high quality employment following high school exit.