Friday, June 12, 2009


Today is graduation day for high school seniors 'round these parts. But for teens or young adults with special needs, it may just be another day, if they are not "walking" with their "typically developing" peers.

How nice, then, to read about a graduation ceremony recently in Oregon for graduates of the Salem-Keizer School District's Community Transition Program. This article describes the impact that graduates have had have on the instructional assistants, bus drivers and specialists who have worked along side of them for so many years. Many of these attend the ceremony as "crucial partners in special education."

Thanks for Mackenzie Ryan for writing this article, for the Statesman Journal for publishing it, and to reader "K" for bringing it to my attention via Facebook.

5 comments:

Pam said...

Hi Carol, nice article to include. And thanks for coming to our son's transition party. He raised over 300 dollars for a fund for future special education students (can pay for enjoyable extras such as music therapy visits). In some ways it was like a funeral service; goodbye to the routine of school life we have known for so many years, in other ways, it was "yes, freedom" as in, freedom from the early morning bus, freedom from relentless school meetings, etc. We have new meetings now with new vocational training folks. And it is a transition for me and my husband, to admit that we are getting older too. But somehow with our friends and community support I think we will come out OK. And we can take good care of ourselves, Geoff had a school picnic today but it was crowded and so we chose to leave early. He is still napping and I just got up. aahhhh. Take care, Pam

Carol said...

Best of luck, Pam on your family's new steps. I like being able to get a glimpse of what's ahead.

Carol

Anonymous said...

I love being able to 'see' what's going on in the future, too. I love stories like that, Carol...I actually got it from Autism Speaks, so I can't take a lot of credit.

Katie

Cindy La Ferle said...

Thanks for a sensitive post. My best friend's daughter (and my honorary niece) has pervasive developmental disorder, which is a form of autism. My friend's daughter didn't "walk" with her high school graduating class, as she will be getting her GED after completing a vocational program. But she was still given a graduation party like every other high school grad -- and everyone was thrilled to participate.

Carol said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Cindy. I seemed to have lost my enthusiasm for blogging. The idea was I'd start it up again after the summer but my motivation has "gone missing." Any suggestions?