Sped Focus Group.m4a
Jodee: [00:00:01] This is a focus group with the secondary special education teachers. So anybody feel free to chime in and we just talked about the secondary transition plan and theoretical principles of Situation and support. So the first question is How does political correctness influence transition process. So think about some of the terminology that's changed. For example we don't refer to kids with cognitive impairment as being mentally retarded. So how does that PC influence the transition process. And anybody can feel free to speak up if they would like.
TS5: [00:00:49] Well I guess I'll start because I'm probably the least politically correct person around. I think you make an example of the fact of you know you know with. What you can and cannot say Well not everybody is up to date on the current lingo and everybody apparently might may be in denial about where their child is at cognitively when using certain terms they may expect more from their or their child than they're actually capable because we're not using terms of people understand or that people use. Obviously I'm not talking about in a hurtful way but you know I mean I have a student now that he's I guess they went out of their way to label him. You know he has a label of autism. But I keep telling these people on my autism is not his problem his cognitive is his problem as long as that IEP keeps talking about autism then that seems to be the direction of where they want to go with the services. And and I keep saying that autism is not the problem. So that's just my 2 cents on.
Jodee: [00:02:12] How has that worked so far just to kind of pair off your response on that TS5 how has it like you're able to see that it's not the Autism that's a problem. How do you stear that to the correct path and have deal with this and what the kid is capable of doing regarding transition.
Sped5: [00:02:34] Well I was fortunate in this area where I think it was an issue of the mom was in denial that it wasn't all the other teachers were like no. This is what this is what he needs. You know because of the IEP I'm trying to get him. You know support all the time and it's just a matter of when they look at the IEP and says why is it that it will be this and this and I'm like I didn't write the IEPP I didn't put down autism. I'll just tell you what I see now what I have and that's what it is. And so it wasn't until at an an IEP meeting that the other teachers who see them every day too are like no this is where he's at. He needs the support he needs this because of x y z. So you know that's just for example.
Jodee: [00:03:25] Okay TS7 I'm going to kind of put you on the spot on for a minute when we talked a couple of days ago about that one student what were some of the things that you might have encountered in working with the parents on regarding transitioning him. And you know just to give a bit with a bit of background history it was a young man diagnosed with Down's syndrome and his parents wanted him in AP classes. And so what were some of the ways that you kind of got around that being politically correct.
Sped7: [00:04:06] We had to be totally politically correct with the parents because as as Sped5 was just talking about there was a complete denial with the parents. I think on the parent part in terms of what the young man was was capable of. And it was a great hindrance I think in what we should have been doing with this young man in terms of getting him to a reachable goal.
Jodee: [00:04:47] Anybody else have anything that they'd like to share with political correctness in transition.
Sped3: [00:04:56] You know piggybacking on what Sped5 said. I think just the unrealistic expectation is that a lot of parents have I mean not to bring it up too much but you know with the Internet everybody seems to be an expert on autism now. They they just you know they think that they know what's best and they haven't seen him in that educational environment. So it's trying to reach those goals and trying to. I don't know just get realistic expectations I guess.
Sped1: [00:05:34] I was just going to place it from the organizations who provide transition services for students who like post-secondary training sometimes they might be a little bit vague because they're trying to be politically correct and who might be accepted into that program and that could cause some extra difficulty as far as getting the student into the program. But that's just a small thing compared to the parent denial.
Jodee: [00:06:01] Right. Sped6 Do you have anything to add to that.
Sped6: [00:06:05] Everybody is talking about the parent aspect I like to talk a little bit about the regular education teachers aspect. A lot of times they're not up to date on a lot of the verbiage that is used in special education just because I mean when you think about it all in all regular education teachers have to take one special education class throughout their entire background in order to get their certificate together. So you know keeping up on it isn't as high of a priority as it should be. And sometimes they say things in meetings as well and aren't necessarily political politically correct.
Jodee: [00:06:40] Right. So can you guys tell me about some of your challenges as a special educator and in working with transition specialists other key service providers. With regard to this secondary transition plan.
Sped2: [00:06:59] We all know it's our job to get that transition plan filled out. I suppose attitudes in meetings where you kind of feel like you bulldozed over the top of. Well you know it was like from both sides of it sometimes you know since you're dealing with the general ed teachers or even another special ed teacher when your a transition specialist is and forgive me for using you know but it's like it's like a you know super teacher. I'm super teacher I'm Captain Awesome you know. And the teachers aren't being realistic about what they you know they want to you know say oh I did this for this kid and I did this and I raised the expectations and I'm like That's great.
Sped5: [00:08:16] But you know it's it's not the thing you know we've mentioned before about the idea of you know if you're talking about a low cognitive and like I want to be a doctor and you translate that too. OK so you're interested in it. And then you explore all those options. But you can have three people saying OK medical field must find something and then one person say Oh well John Hopkins goes a really good program. You know I mean unless everybody is on the same page it just sends mixed messages. I think it just clouds up the ultimate goal which is to have a successful post-secondary transition.
Sped2: [00:08:56] I am sure that all of you have felt as am I and when you leave the meeting you're like OK well that was that was basically a bust. We got absolutely nothing accomplished because you had people going in different direction.
Jodee: [00:09:09] In regard to the secondary transition. Can anybody speak to that.
Sped1: [00:09:15] We would often have pre-meeting. We didn't have a transition specialist per se but our school psychologist ended up sort of filling that spot. So a lot of times the special education team would sit together and pre-meet before we had that IEP meetings that at least we can all be on the same page and any kind of incongruence at that point could be hashed out before we stepped in. But that's tough when you have meetings all the time anyway. So sometimes it was during our lunch time schedule or maybe the week before the meeting we kind of go over the upcoming meetings and any major pointers or or issue areas that we we see but it's not always a perfect world but it helped.
Sped5: [00:09:58] I've started to step in here but it's like I don't know what your current position is or what you are doing now. So but like that in theory you'd like I agree with you. That should take place. But what I found is that since everybody is so sue scared sue crazy that what they will do is then find a way to say that it will pre-determined. My child has label or service or minutes or whatever prior to the IEP meeting. So I didn't even stand a chance because you guys got together ahead of time and then due process all the e-mails and all that stuff. So like yes I agree with you. I totally agree. That needs to be you need to have consistency. That's just one of those pitfalls that has come up as of late.
Sped1: [00:10:52] Yeah ok. I'm about five years removed we're almost six now removed from the special education. But I was at the high school level before and we that's what we would work through. We wouldn't really predraft the IEP we'd have that transition plan started and a all of times parents are notified. But yeah we didn't we would draft it there but I could see how that would have been all. All it takes is one parent to to start that rolling and then it.
Sped5: [00:11:23] So yah I'd say in the last couple years so because again I don't want to deter that because I think what you're doing. I think that's a great application of what we're trying to get at and that's how we'll get there. Taking another tool away from a competent team.
Sped6: [00:11:41] I know you know back in in in my day and maybe things are a little bit more removed you know when you talk to the students I would always run this stuff by the parents and say hey this is what their interests are. You know what did you think or what have you. You know just to kind of get their input and then kind of come up with a tentative plan on how to get that student to work towards their goal.
Sped1: [00:12:07] And a lot of times the pre-meeting meetings weren't necessarily what are we going to have them do. It was more of are we on the same page with where we're think what we're thinking about the students skills are and what their weaknesses are per se that makes any sense and what the parents been expressing as an interest because sometimes one parent will say something to you and then something completely different to another sped teacher about their student's interest. So it's nice to be on at least that same page. Yeah I agree. But I can see that now it's definitely an issue.
Sped3: [00:12:40] And I tell you what Jodee you're absolutely right. I have I have kids that want to be NBA basketball stars and I end up contacting parents and saying look I'm going to try and steer them in a different direction and parents are like please do because we can't get it out of their mind that they want to be an NBA basketball star and I'm like have you tried welding....
Sped3: [00:13:01] Well buddy, you do realize you're only 5'2 right (hahaha). Exactly. It's like you know I don't want to be the heartbreaker for them but you know and I steer it towards you know what if something happens and you can't do it. We need to have a backup plan so this is what were your backup plan.
Jodee: [00:13:24] Sped6 or Sped7 Do you have anything to add to that.
Sped6: [00:13:27] I think there's also that realistic. You know I mean you guys were talking about being a basketball player and I kind of thing but I think you need to bring that to the table. I mean you know I had a student that was in a wheelchair and wanted to be a police officer obviously he's not going to chase criminals down the road in a wheelchair. I mean it's just not realistic. You know and I think that the students also need to realize that and I mean it's it's great in theory to say let's do what the students interested in. It's great in theory and everybody of course I mean hey I want to be a supermodel right. Obviously didn't happen quite yet but it's the same thing. We really aren't. Yeah. That is not the model I wanted to be. But but anyway like we said there also needs to come a point where you need to discuss with the student some different skills of being able to be realistic with their disability and understand what their limitations are as much as you know we don't want to limit kids but we also have to be realistic. Obviously you know I mean I myself have a hearing loss. I'm not going to go into a career where I deal primarily with hearing things right. I mean that's just not realistic. It's not something that's going to work and I think sometimes as a team we're so you know going back to the politically correct question and you know we're so...Oh we have to let the kids follow their dreams and their aspirations but there also comes a time where you have to be realistic with them as well.
Sped2: [00:15:00] They have to have a hard truth...tell them the hard truth
Sped7: [00:15:08] I totally agree with what Sped6 just said and have had those experiences where parents aren't realistic with their expectations for their kids moreso than what the kids themselves want to do.
Sped4: [00:15:11] Yeah I think sometimes it's really it's it's difficult you know to be realistic and tell those kids that hard truth. I like the angle of getting from the kid what are some goals you would like to achieve and then running that by the parent. I think that that's that's important piece because when they come into that transition meeting then everybody's not blindsided. So to speak.
Jodee: [00:15:39] OK so when you get to the secondary level. You have a student who refuses to partake in his or her transition process according to this secondary transition plan. For example you have to interview them for their goals. What would you do.
Sped5: [00:16:00] Well the first thing is like how committed are they to that goal. I mean that would be my first thing. It's like you know it's you know being a coach it's like go coach I want to go Division 1. I don't see you in the weight room like I mean you know so I would. And then my second part of that is how accurate is that transition. And transition services is you know if you're asking the kid to do pushups because they want to be in the Marines but they don't like pushups and they don't like guns than I would question where does that transition. Who wrote this. You know what I mean. So that's that's just my two cents.
Sped1: [00:16:35] You know I have had students not take part in there in their transition. And it's it's kind of like those things that he had that conversation with him and say listen this is your future here not mine. I want to help you try to achieve that.
Jodee: [00:16:51] Anybody else have any any ideas on how they can get students to partake in their transition.
Sped3: [00:16:58] I think a lot of the kids what they end up doing is they try and look at where they want to end up in their final ultimate career in a lot of times there are steps to actually get there. And if they have that ultimate goal and they think it's too far away for instance doing something with the FBI or doing something on the federal level a lot of times people will start off and they want to become a police officer or they want to do something like that and you start them off and kind of that smaller step and say all right this is what you need to do in order to achieve the first step to your bigger success.
Sped6: [00:17:32] I think something that might help are like student lead IEP. And having them actually lead their own transition plans. I mean you know a lot of times we as the team as a special education teacher facilitate the IEP and having them facilitated and actually take charge of their own plan and we'll give them a little bit more motivation and drive to follow through with the goals that they've actually created.
Sped1: [00:17:59] So at the previous school that I taught at. They did just that. So we started about a month beforehand and we had the students write down some of their goals and really helped them work through some of those hard truths and deciphering parent interests and the student interests and kind of where their skill levels were and by the time start freshman year and by the time they are ready for that meeting they held the meeting they knew all their teachers names they introduced them to their to their parents. And it's always been I don't know we were really proud of it at that school that I taught that before but that is something that we did always time.
Sped4: [00:18:39] Yeah yeah I agree I think it's it's like students really like to do that. You know it's like they're in charge of their own plan. I'm going to tell you what it is I want to do. So I agree I think that that's definitely a beneficial aspect to address and bring up.
Jodee: [00:19:01] Does anyone else have any final thoughts to share on that one.
Sped6: [00:19:05] I think even. I mean depending on their cognitive level as well. I think that putting them in some kind of situational situations where they are doing different jobs for example. You know I used to have my kids go and do on the job training out in the community from work places where we did grocery stores we did old age homes folding towels we did Costco Sam's Club that kind of stuff. So I mean giving them the opportunity to explore different career that they may or may not have bought. You know it may spark an interest which would give them more of an opportunity to want to create their own transition plans to follow through on their goals.
Jodee: [00:19:49] Yeah and I know Sped7 you actually fielded a lot of that in terms of you know like with one with the Flying Tigers for example. Can you talk about maybe some of the things that you did and your students get from secondary to higher end learning those basic skills.
Sped7: [00:20:19] The main thing was just letting them do hands on whenever there was opportunity for example, there was bacon breakfast burrito's and getting them to actually see what it was like to cook a scrambled egg trying to to make change when somebody came up to buy the burrito to do the dishes afterward. Just to give them like the others who were saying the real life experience and then maybe you know one of the great things that one of the school district does in Tucson is their high schools are completely geared now with academies to where. Now if you have a parent that wants to put a child in a totally inclusive and they are going they're going to get the experience in different areas.So it's an it's it's wonderful to have an experience different thing.
Jodee: [00:21:34] So I want you guys to provide an answer to this scenario. If you have a student who is struggling with his or her teacher how would you handle it.
Sped5: [00:21:53] Teacher or sped teacher.
Jodee: [00:21:58] It doesn't matter.
[00:21:58] Have a student that just says that.
Sped1: [00:22:04] I probably try to find some additional information. Why. What's been going on what what's been the issue. And I think I'd try to have the student go and talk to that particular teacher too. Hopefully the first time maybe by themselves and then the second time with me if it needed to be a second time.
Sped2: [00:22:27] Kind of piggybacking on what Sped1 said. I actually would do the same thing at first and I would say all right what's going on. And then what I would do is I would kind of spin it a little bit and I would actually go to the teacher and say this is so and so has she has told me this I am going to have them come up and talk to you. And if there was a teacher that could be argumentative or combative. What I would end up doing is say you know what you need to pull your punches on them. They're really on the edge. They're coming up on my request.
Jodee: [00:23:01] anybody else can have anything they want to to that.
Sped5: [00:23:12] You know I think I would. The only way. I mean I don't know if I'm going to respectfully disagree with Sped1 that I probably and I'm not disagreeing at all. But the idea of self advocacy and I mean if you really feel that way and if you really think that the teacher hates you or this and that then it's upon you to remedy that situation. You know I guess when I first heard the question my first thing would be like I don't I don't care. Like your boss you're not going to like this how you deal with it is to what the big picture is. And so you know I guess you know the self-advocacy skills are where I would classify that as important.
Jodee: [00:23:58] Anybody else have anything in that scenario.
Sped6: [00:24:02] I was just going to say the same thing he said you know I think that we compare it to a real world situation where you know you're at work and you don't you're not getting along with the boss. How would you handle that situation that way you kind of turn it into a lesson and compare it to something that they're going to utilize after they leave us. And that way you know you're teaching on those skills rather than just telling them what to do. Right.
[00:24:27] Sped7 Can you hear us.
Sped7: [00:24:29] I can I can totally hear you OK.
Jodee: [00:24:33] Anything you want to add before we before we go on your face is frozen.
Sped7: [00:24:39] You know I totally agree. I was in a uique situation too where if I saw something like that start to happen or if or if the student came to me right then and there I was able to remove the student from the situation and we we started that dialogue right away. If I if we had to then go back and talk to that teacher. We did it immediately but communication was the key and the self advocacy.
Jodee: [00:25:18] So what do you guys feel and are some of the collaboration challenges as a secondary special education teacher working with parents on these transition goals.
Sped6: [00:25:46] I think it's being unrealistic. I mean with some of the some of the you know it's hard to tell a parent and I know it's at the secondary level. By then you think the shock would wear off that their kids are not going to be a doctor or a lawyer in some cases you know but it's you know I used to sit with parents and speak to them. Now have you thought about what Johnny is going to do after high school and to be honest with them. A lot of them don't think long term like that they break it down. So you know have serious conversation and sometimes having that chat and having that realistic talk I think is the toughest part of the transition meetings not very green.
Jodee: [00:26:48] Any have anything they want to add to that.
Sped5: [00:26:51] Yeah. The other part of that is actually if you flip that. And say. For example when the parents don't agree with what the kid wants to do instead of the other way around. You know like I said plenty of times where kids wanted to join the military and their parents don't want them to. You know you're trying to get kids for you know you know OK you need physical conditioning classes you need this or whatever it is. Or ROTC you know find a school that has that. But then the parents are like you know no I don't want my kid joining the military. And you know I could deal with that.
Jodee: [00:27:28] Now have any of you guys ever had a scenario where a kid has turned 18 in the middle of their senior year and they have banned their parents. From attending meetings.
Sped5: [00:27:44] Banned? No.
Jodee: [00:28:10] And you know flip side of the coin because speaking to what Sped5 said and I think that that's. That's that's a really fine line. So how do you deal with a situation where if the kid wants to join the military the parents don't want them to.
Sped5: [00:28:37] it's an example that popped out were always usually dealing with the flip side of it and being you know like what about when the kid wants to do something and the parents think the kid can do more than they're capable. We rarely come to the thing where it's the parents don't want them. You know sometimes it's even the simplest like I want to be a mechanic and the parents are like you're not going to do anything when you know you're going to go to college and you're going to do this and blah blah blah blah.
Jodee: [00:29:11] As a secondary special ed teacher working in special education what is the most challenging In the way of offering support and strategies working with students who are transitioning from secondary going into higher education. What do you think is the most challenging about trying to figure out how to get them To that point.
Sped6: [00:29:46] I think that's the most challenging in finding that right fit. I mean on top of that we've talked about being realistic a million times now but finding the right fit for that student. You want them to if there is someone that is capable of going into higher education first of all finding a university or finding a community college or a program right. That meet their needs is also challenging. I mean as special education teachers at the secondary level we know a lot of programs but there's so much out there that is still developing. And you never know where they're going to actually fit it. You can do your best to try to get them there. You don't know if they're going to make it or not or if it's going to be the appropriate placement for them because once you set them free you set them free.
Sped2: [00:30:35] We're still starting in asking 16 year olds hey what do you want to do for the rest of your life. And then holding them to that you know it is it's a journey.
Jodee: [00:31:14] So once the interview portion of the secondary transition plan is written what point do you feel that you have part of that collaboration process with transition coordinator's colleges and other key service providers. When did that collaboration piece begin.
Sped1: [00:31:40] I feel like immediately or soon as you have the next instance of contact with a parent or with another special education teacher that works with that child the school psychologist or one of the resources that you're checking to see if that might be available for that student after after high school.
Jodee: [00:31:57] And do you guys feel it's it's primarily the sped case manager that's reaching out to those other those other people and I don't know Sped5 maybe you can see this in both sides of the coin in that you and a transition coordinator you know at what point were you brought into that.
Sped5: [00:32:21] Well in my experience this is just my experience is that I mean you know is much is as little as the gen ed knows about sped. Sped for the most part just knows about as much on transition. Resources testing all that kind of stuff open so they just really take your lead on it. They're just you are the transition coordinator so tell me what this where if you know you read the report tell me where it goes I'll fill it in the IEP in that part of the meeting you do the talking and you build this and they are there. They're rather indifferent in my experience about what goes in that report.
Jodee: [00:33:10] do any of you guys have anything else to add to that.
Sped7: [00:33:14] I just want going back on our discussion before. I just think it's still like a puzzle in which you find one piece of the puzzle you need to find the rest of the puzzle pieces and put them all together.Collaboration an coordination is so key.
Sped4: [00:33:34] And so I think it's it's it's one of those things when you fill out that transition plan not that you're not collaborating with with these people and all along. But I think once that secondary transition plan goes into effect. That's when you try to work that you know get the other people involved because quite frankly I mean I don't know that you guys but there's been times when I'm like I don't have a clue. I don't even know where to begin. You get this kid to where he needs to be. You know I feel that that transition coordinator or you know I'm. Someone that maybe has more of an understanding of the transition piece should really be brought into it. If not before you know in a perfect world. You know more and more districts are hiring transition specialists. And so they expect them to start with the kids that are little and work up that you know. And so. Whereas a lot of times you think nope that transition teams only should be instituted in high school when in reality we're doing it all if That makes sense.
Sped4: [00:34:40] And does anybody have anything else that they wanted to add to that. So as a secondary sped teacher what are some of the difficulties with the transition process.
Sped1: [00:34:59] I think that kind of goes back to what we were already discussing which is staying on top of the resources that are available. So I know that I had a few things that I I did well to keep up on but it was only a few a handful of things and that's where that collaboration with the other sped teachers came into play because I had to go out and reach out to them I would have been overwhelmed trying to keep up with every option available. And then my student load and everything else. So that was was other than finding the best suit for that student. That was my difficult process. After that you know after finding the best fit for the student was OK. How do I make that happen. And you know we didn't transition specialists
Jodee: [00:35:51] Sped4, you actually have a transition specialist that you work with.
Sped4: [00:36:22] Yeah and she does a really good job.
Jodee: [00:36:25] So once you write that secondary transition plan with the student. When does a collaboration piece come into effect.
Sped4: [00:36:34] Well she's involved even in the planning of that. She interviews them I interview them. She starts kind of working on it immediately if there's stuff she needs to information gather and then when we're at the meeting she attends and provides the materials and input and stuff like that. Honestly there are times when like freshmen she's not always able to be at every single meeting. And so sometimes she'll just give me the information and relay. But for all of our juniors and seniors she tries to time all of their meetings or she contacts the parents ahead of time.
Jodee: [00:37:28] What are the key challenges between a vocational transition versus a higher education transition and I know Sped4 you are mostly with higher ed transitions and you dealt mostly with higher ed transitions. I think Sped3 and Sped6 are probably equal as well as Sped2, Sped5 and Sped7. So anybody want to speak to you maybe with some of those challenges are.
Sped5: [00:37:58] Well I wanted to add to what Sped4 was saying. it should be now I don't know about your school so you can correct me if I'm wrong but it has always been the transition plan is not a one shot one time deal it's really freshman you're doing Step 1 which is take some AZCIS testing. You know some. Aptitude stuff you know I'm not taking freshmen on my tours of Estrella Mountain community college or ASU. then step two you know is then whatever it is so that a situation where if you don't have that coordinator who can be on top of every meeting whatever it should be simple enough that case managers should be able to handle and say Oh hey remember last year we focused on we have to take those test and we put up those results. Now we went to part two of the process and did such.. It's not like up here it is you know have at it kind of thing. I mean your IEP goal may or may not necessarily be for the student to get their driver's license.
Sped4: [00:39:15] a lot of times it's career exploration because they have no idea sometimes what they want to do. OK. That's OK. Let's pick like three different things that you're interested in right now and for a lot of the freshmen that's how it starts out.
Sped5: [00:39:33] It's a classic transition goal.
Jodee: [00:39:38] You know as the kid progresses you update their goals and their secondary transition goals as they change from one year to the next.
Sped1: [00:39:51] Every year the new IEP new year new new goals.
Sped4: [00:40:01] And you know it means the entire plan which effects oh 90 percent of that IEP or at least get 80 percent of that every year. I have a kid now who's a senior and I have changed. Like literally he has. Gone from it was culinary, then it was the was the Navy then it was I forgot oh sports med. Physical therapy just like every year it was something entirely different. I'm like dude you are killing me. Why do you understand the paperwork you make. You made me do.
Jodee: [00:40:38] Well is a vocational transition plan more difficult than a secondary transition plan.
Sped1: [00:40:47] For me personally a vocational plan is more dificult. That's because I am less aware of some of those things. I've worked with more resource students. So that's the stuff that would be hard for me to keep up on top of what programs are available after high school and how they changed and how the requirements changed since the last time I looked at those programs that were available.
Jodee: [00:41:07] Does anybody have anything to add to that.
Sped4: [00:41:35] I think knowing your resources too and what things are available. The longer I've done it and moving around from different schools and in different locations within the metropolitan area more you become more you yourself become more aware of what research sources are available.
Jodee: [00:41:59] So that's something that you have to do your homework on. Or can the transition coordinator help out with that piece of it.
Sped4: [00:42:06] Well that's that's a huge part is that. But if you don't have that relationship or you don't have a transition coordinator that's doing that for you then you've got to do it yourself and before coming here I really didn't have that person right. And so. You know and then. Honestly I am pretty spoiled I think on the east side with having EVIT. There's a lot of those resources available.
Jodee: [00:42:37] And couple more questions you guys. And what went might be some suggestions to increase the collaborative process between secondary sped teachers transition specialists and other key service providers.
Sped2: [00:43:07] It's communication. It's education. It's you've got somebody teachers who really don't even understand Special Education. It's another program another thing. if you would put it in terms of like LRE and you sit there and said if we said the same thing about that with sped kids that we do about minority kids People will be like I would never say that but you're saying that to kids all the time. You say you or your kid you know or I've got those kids over there or you know I mean stuff like that. I think it's just an overall. Misunderstanding of what it is that special education does. Because again. The things that they say that teachers or people say about special education kids would never dream of saying that about any other group of kids but we do it without thought.
Jodee: [00:44:11] So opening up those lines of communication is really important.
Sped5: [00:44:18] It's just like sped6 said, You go get your teacher degree and you get one sped class. No historical background no understanding of it. Nothing like that. It's got to be way. It's got to be in depth. I mean it's the same thing about general ed. The two things that affect more people than any then more people than anything else is government and economics and we spend a semester of each and that's it. And you wonder why people are so uneducated
Jodee: [00:45:02] Anybody else have anything to add to that. As a secondary special education teacher do you feel Adequately prepared to transition students with disabilities to higher education.
Sped4: [00:45:22] Yeah I was just going to say we always need to keep getting better. It's not a good idea to just be complacent.
Jodee: [00:45:39] Well is it one of those things you know you have your earn Continuing education. Like are you increasing your knowledge on Ways you transition as a student.
Sped4: [00:45:55] Are you asking for like specific training classes or are you just asking like Just generally working individually.
[00:46:05] I mean you know in your experience is because there's been times when I've transitioned students and I'm like. You know I don't I kind of feel like when I'm going but I don't really know if I know what I'm doing.
Sped1: [00:46:19] Yeah. I think the state puts on some sort of transition fair something like that every year. Another example of like that continued professional development.
Sped4: [00:46:43] Because I got to go to that transition fair and that was great and that really helped me so much but not every single teacher get to go. So either the who were like that's kind of mandatory and everybody does it.... Or or not you know a lot of times it's space time it's money and people aren't going to pay for it on their own. Districts aren't going to pay for that.
[00:47:24] OK so last question for you guys what are some of the supports that you need from your district in order to effectively collaborate with one another when it pertains to providing transition services.
Sped3: [00:47:45] Time.
Sped1: [00:47:49] Budget from professional development.
Sped4: [00:47:50] Money.
Jodee: [00:47:53] Money with what they pay you in terms of....
Sped1: [00:47:57] Resources professional development opportunities for students to go out and have those transition type experiences that Sped6 talked about at the beginning.
[00:48:05] So Sped3 what about in your neck of the woods. What do you think that that you would need that your district should provide. For you guys.
Sped3: [00:48:16] Oh definitely the resources are big. It seems like most of the special teachers that I work with we end up having to go out and try and find all of these resources for ourselves where as it would be nice if the district would say hey here's a list of resources for you. Why don't you well even pay for it if you want to go to it. Or you no it's just it comes down to that. A lot of that since were so specialized. People don't know what we do right there. They're happy If they don't hear from us. Yes. Basically what happens is we're left to fend for ourselves.
Jodee: [00:48:59] Who yelled out time?
Sped3: [00:48:59] I yelled out time. Time as far as being able to go out and do these things because we've got you know I'm preaching to the choir. I know that. But you know with our caseload and everything else that we do we don't have the time to look at it and this becomes something secondary that we scramble to try and make up.
Jodee: [00:49:49] How many of you feel That it would be beneficial for all districts to try to incorporate Transition coordinators exclusively for Secondary.
Sped4: [00:50:02] Very important.
Sped1: [00:50:04] It just depends on how they do it.
Sped5: [00:50:06] Thank you. That's what I was going to say is to have a transition coordinator for the sake of having one. Yeah. It is not necessary.
Jodee: [00:50:18] We want someone that would be well versed within the field would know what there doing?
Sped1: [00:50:26] Maybe some budget or funds for services
[00:50:33] I want to combine Your last question and this question and I think it's true for transition is it's true or general ed whatever. Choices like students parents whatever they need choices if their kid goes to school they don't have the services then let them go to another school. You know let the schools possibly specialize in their field. I know that there is EVIT and West Bank. That's the best thing for these kids don't make it so difficult for them to do half day school and then half day West bank. like you've got to give choices. And so as much as I understand about the time for us. I mean I do get that. But ultimately it's just like anything else. Parents and kids should be given a choice. Well I feel that it was always legislated from the top of people you can't do this well you don't know anything about this. You don't know about the resources. And you're putting arbitrary boundaries on what I can do with and can help this kid by doing this.
Jodee: [00:51:58] Does anybody else have any final thoughts they like to share. Before I turn the recording off as we've reached saturation.
RES-866-RS-TSFocusGroup (1) (2).docx
TS Focus Group.m4a
Jodee: [00:00:03] So the first question that I have and please anyone feel free to jump in I interject I may ask some of you specifically. So the first question is How does political correctness influence the transition plan.
TS2: [00:01:15] As far as political correctness is concerned I think you know something that we always have to take a look at with families especially when we're working with them is the terminology. So like are we going to say the right thing to the parents. Are we not going to say the right thing especially with the laws and regulations changing so often and parents not being up to date on terminology. Sometimes the political correctness of it all comes into play.
TS2: [00:01:43] Also with taking a look at the transition plan and what the student actually wants to do. Being realistic about what the student is going to be able to do. And I actually said it instead of saying that. Instead of saying that a student can or cannot do something you have to be politically correct about it.
Jodee: [00:02:17] Does anyone have Any thing else that they would like to interject regarding how political correctness influences the transition process.
TS1: [00:02:24] Well I can add to that. Yeah I think really it is important that we present ourselves as ethical professionals and that helps build that trust relationship with the family and also with the staff that we're working with and having those Pre meetings where you talk with your staff about the best way to handle a difficult situation and how to present information let the student also advocate for themselves. It's really important and that's really sort of best-practice. So when you are working with them knowing the correct terms making sure you're up to date on the legal requirements making sure you have a way to document or help the student participate in the meeting itself. Can really make a difference when a parent is not really trusting the school. The student can speak for themselves anyway and how you help that happen. It makes a big difference.
Jodee: [00:03:34] Does anybody else have any anything else to share on from that perspective as you're holding a transition meeting. How does that factor into it.
TS7: [00:03:46] You know there are also and I think we talked a lot about this in my one on one interview. It is you kind of have to break it down as far as the area that the student wants to go is just two different components that I think of. You know I want to be that NFL football player or I want to be policemen whatever it is and being able to break down the skills and what interests that child in that job. And so you have to be able to be politically correct in breaking that down without making them you know feel like oh she's saying I can't be that in real life. And then also another piece that I feel is important that we have to really tiptoe around it. If we have to state providers that are attending the meeting. And oftentimes parents will say well I'm just going to get a check from this date forever. So my kids not really ever going to do anything.
TS1: [00:05:08] So you know to kind of pair off of what you had just said. So sometimes it goes back to that you have those challenges and oftentimes those challenges stem from working with one another. And you know very secondary true special education teacher is the one that's responsible for filling out that secondary transition plan. What are some of the challenges that you as transition specialist have with regard to that political correctness being able to guide the student to their goals on the secondary transition plan. Because quite often you maybe your role is in telling the team. I don't think that this is best suited for this child and here's why. Based on the assessments. That they've been given. Can anybody speak to that. Or. Other members of the team with regard to a student transition.
TS6: [00:06:57] I think sometimes there are differing opinions as to where the level is of the child or what they're able to do and whether it's the parents doesn't think there are teachers things to try and do it or you know what the student wants to do something know. You know and trying to bridge that gap and come to a consensus and change.
Jodee: [00:07:27] So what are some strategies that you can use to guide the team and getting everybody on the same page so to speak.
TS4: [00:07:41] I think what's always important is to remember that this is not a time for your feelings about the students or you know your feelings about the family or any of that. The idea is to remain objective. For me remaining objective in the process take out hopefully take out any type of feeling of bias. You know I can try to remember to encourage that within the staff. And my hope is that somebody can see things objectively that we're not saying this student can't learn were just saying that there will be struggles you know so it's me that can help facilitate that discussion in a more productive way.
Jodee: [00:08:32] that objectivity that you talked about Michelle is really important.Does anyone else have anything they'd like to share?
TS3: [00:08:42] I think also it's important to work with a child in an area that they're really good in but you have a child who is graduating and they are getting a completion certificate. They're not even getting a diploma so for example their math skills are not Anywhere where they need to be as a potential veterinarian. So we had a student that wanted to be a veterinarian and there was no WAY. then how do you have the child find a job that is still within that field like maybe a vet tech? I mean it's just something like within that field that they're really interested in then you can talk to the family about the different options. That's within their skill set but also to do a job that they really want to do in their life dream.
TS5: [00:09:57] I think that it comes down to just having that philosophy with your staff that. We are looking for a route. You were looking for a way to say yes you know what I mean you were looking for a way for what this child and the parent wants looking for a way to say yes and meet their needs. So number one just the culture Of your faculty your special ed director whoever is in the meeting. But I think it's all about the pre meeting. I think you really got to meet ahead of time. Get on the same page knowing what the kid wants to do and say What are some options we can think of ahead of time so that it's not the moment you're just trying to figure it out right then.
Jodee: [00:10:55] Yeah and you know what and just to kind of pair off of what you said to have that pre-meeting that was something that actually came up in our in our last focus group in terms of Do you do the pre meetings with or without the parent. And what can be some of those challenges?
TS4: [00:11:42] Yeah I just I just said that. Yeah I mean it's always a concern about pre-determination of some kind. So yeah it's always difficult. If they know that you've had a discussion and you're like no no no nothings determined so Yeah it's hard.
TS1: [00:12:05] Well one of the things that we did was we often would have parents survey so the parents were giving input and we kind of just met to collaborate. We had a collaboration meeting. It wasn't like a pre transition meeting. It was a collaboration meeting where we went over the parents surveyed the student survey and we did those annually so that we were always updating them. And that was part of our assessment process. But another thing too is to even just brainstorm opportunities for situational assessments so that when you actually go into the meeting there are some common language that could present to the parent and say maybe if this is a student's interest how do you feel about trying this or that and getting the g parent to get feedback as far as. Have you ever say if the student wanted to go to college but their scores aren't going to be high enough yet maybe you could convince that you could talk to the parent about it an assessment such as going online to the community college and taking a pre assessment for placement. If the student wanted to be in food service maybe there's an opportunity for them to volunteer at a nursing home or something like that where you could actually do a situational assessment with a kid in a common setting and you can set that up during that transition meeting as a suggestion. Following up on that at a later date with some actual data and then it doesn't really make it seem like you've predetermined anything. You've just made suggestions and you're following through does that make sense.
Jodee: [00:14:04] so let me ask you guys, What are some ways that you can help to collaborate with that secondary special ed teacher and getting that student back on track.?
TS3: [00:14:38] I think you have to find out why they're refusing.
TS7: [00:14:46] Yeah. Yes. Yes. It goes back to the initial relationship and you got to find whoever that person is that can really connect with that student. And a lot of times. You have to find out why and sometimes finding out that it's sometimes extremely difficult you know because we know when kids are getting ready to graduate go out into the real world. In reality they are scared to death because they don't know if they can succeed. So we can do things to build their confidence and have somebody that really has a good relationship with them and just start the conversation. So that's often helpful.
TS3: [00:15:34] I think you need to find out why there has to be a reason they're not interested and they're just afraid to take those next steps.
Jodee: [00:15:56] I'd like you guys to provide an answer to this scenario. If you have a student who's struggling with his or her teacher how would you handle this.
TS6: [00:16:10] Well I think it has to start with a conversation with the teacher to find out you know what's going on from their perspective and then also having a conversation with the students as to what's going on. You know to get their perspective and try to get everybody to look at things and it kind of goes back to that objectiveness that was talked about earlier. You know we're being objective here and what can we work out as we're almost like a mediator at that point.
Jodee: [00:16:56] Ok so TS2 I'm going to put you on the spot. What are some ideas that you have about that.
TS2: [00:17:04] I personally think as a transition specialist I will look at it from a different point of view. They're going to run into issues and problems on the job where as a teacher we're not going to be able to step in and help them. I would try to educate them a little bit better in communication skills and how to deal with problems in the workplace. Pair it to something like problems in the classroom and have them go self advocate for themselves and actually confront the teacher although it really does depend on the level of the student as well. I mean you know depending on where they're at and like cognitively could be the difference of what we decide to do with them but if we're talking in general that's what I would do I would try to give them some kind of a skill base for working with them. I may even contact their speech therapist if that's someone that's in play to do some social stories some role playing with them.
Jodee: [00:18:02] TS5 did you have something that you wanted to add to that I know you had asked about The population.
TS5: [00:18:08] Yeah I mean I definitely like what she was just saying that part of it you have to think about everyone. you're going to deal with different personalities and different scenarios in the real world in a job. And so I think a big part of that is to help them figure out what skills it is to communicate with somebody that's there superior. In this case that teacher or you know a boss. And so I think dealing with that unless situation is really serious. You know I think that. That's the first step in you're a mediator and really trying to flush out what's between the teacher and the students.
Jodee: [00:18:46] OK so how can you provide support to one another. For example the transition specialist to secondary specialist teachers when transitioning a student to higher education. Because I know want to learn the differences between vocational and higher ed transitions so. So this is specifically related to your higher ed transition.
TS4: [00:19:19] Oh I'm sorry this is this is TS4. I was just clarifying. So how do we support the secondary special education teacher.
Jodee: [00:19:28] Yes. How would you support the secondary special education teacher and in working with transitioning a student to higher education.
TS4: [00:19:41] Well I mean I would I would hope that they would already have some frequent contact with a case manager with say a counseling department within their school. Because a lot of times you can help facilitate getting that students signed up for a college visit or. You know of you know how do they get accommodations on the ACT or SAT those kinds of things. If you can provide that information maybe to the secondary special education teacher who may or may not be the case manager. then they can be more aware of those things as they come up again for another student.
Jodee: [00:20:25] Does anybody else have any anything that they'd like to add into that.
TS3: [00:20:36] When we transition a lot of higher ed kids like to a four year institution or even to like a two year but when we did we would even have the students sit in on classes so they would sit in on some freshman level classes with a transition specialists or the special ed teacher to kind of see what it feels like and then when get a better idea of what they need in the classroom to help them with that piece to and you know they wouldn't sit right next to them, they would sit A couple rows back and do that a couple times that the kid could get used to it. we were in really close contact with the counselors at the university or a junior college and to make sure that we had a plan for them if if they're anxious or if they couldn't access the curriculum for some reason or couldn't talk to their professor. They had someone to go to to help with that. So involve the parents too the parents to come down and talk with counselors. And so there's a lot of work to be done when it's a higher ed institution. It is almost like job coaching.
Jodee: [00:21:46] Does anybody else have anything to add to that.
TS7: [00:21:51] I think about the importance that you can them with a disability resource center. Show them that way. They know what their services will look like in that setting. Like those situations with assault centers around you were they were really good at working with students was very high functioning and had autism and really worked with the family to transition to that. And they did a fantastic job.
Jodee: [00:22:20] Thank you for bringing that up. And that's that's an excellent point. Go ahead TS1.
TS1: [00:22:24] Well I was going to say also working with the VR case manager on that is really a useful thing because they can be very helpful especially if the child is going to college if they're going to a university. It's harder to get VR involved because they want to see evidence that they're going to be successful and higher learning. I have had some students go to four year universities one actually went out of state and is still working on completing a degree. But it hasnt been without issues that it really help them learn how to contact the disability resource center getting the parents involved and understanding even the parents not even understanding that they can't have the same relationship with the school staff that they would have had at the high school level. I found a lot of parents didn't understand how their role would change and how no one will talk to the parent only to the student. And so that takes a certain amount of preparation not only for the parent but for the student to learn how to ask for that support. There has to be a lot of coaching on that.
Jodee: [00:23:42] So as a transition specialist, what do you feel is the most difficult part in trying to complete transitioning kids through high school?
TS4: [00:24:06] I think sometimes is helping them self advocate appropriately in terms of kind of theoretical you know kind of answer to you. I think that's kind of the hardest part of them You know not complaining. But you know you know or whining about something but specifically knowing how to request support or discuss what their strengths and weaknesses are in an appropriate manner.
Jodee: [00:24:39] Any difficulties with trying to get them to go from IDEA to ADA.
TS1: [00:24:55] sometimes I know that I used to use graphic organizer and actually have an activity where they had to actually compare IDEA and ADA supports So that it was actually something that would be included in their portfolio because I had to make a portfolio. And so it was kind of in their toolbox so they could see what could they provide what couldn't they provide. And that was when I was a teacher and as a specialist I provided some of those resources to the teacher.
Jodee: [00:25:36] Anybody else have anything to share on that.
TS5: [00:25:40] I was going to say that I think that comparing the two. I love her idea that such a great idea and I think so for the students to realize that what they've been receiving possibly for you know 10 years is it's going to be available on the same level it's going to change. And then having the parents see that as well. You know we've talked a little bit with the university but it's still true. Like when they go to a job the parent can't come in and say you know I need you to accommodate them coming in late every day or whatever. So I think that both the student and the parent be educated on differences and how to advocate because I think when it when they leave high school they have to advocate for themselves.
TS3: [00:27:06] Well I was I was just I was going to say what a great idea that was for the flow charts. I didn't really have any issues with it except I mean the parents truly understand the differences. But once once we explained that to them they seemed fine so but I like the flowchart idea.
Jodee: [00:27:22] So what what are some of the collaboration challenges as a transition specialist that you all encountered when working with parents on transitional goals.
TS6: [00:27:44] I think it's just a matter of finding a way to get them to understand that you are preparing them for their post-secondary environment. And you didn't realize that they do something and they're not going to necessarily lose their check.
Jodee: [00:28:06] And does anybody have any issues with maybe the unrealistic expectations. And ideas on how to work through that with the parents.
TS6: [00:28:26] I think that's where you have to focus on the data and the skills and keep the objectivity. This is what we know the student has strengths in this is what we know their abilities are their skill level and looking at that to help prepare and understand.
Jodee: [00:28:52] Anybody else have anything else that they want to interject on that one.
TS3: [00:28:57] Well I think you see it from the other end too that they're not involved when you get them to be involved in the transition plan. you see over involvement and being unrealistic and then you have the other one saying you're just going to take care of this right. They can do anything. No you need to be a piece of a part of this. So I you know I ran that a couple of times we had to discuss what their role was to control the school's role. To put it all out there so they understood.
Jodee: [00:29:25] Very good points. Anybody else want to chime in on that one.
TS2: [00:29:29] I think something else too that I'd like to bring up is as a transition specialist we often get some kind of flack that we don't know the student as well as the special education teacher does. So you know that's another issue with parents as we are the specialist in the area. We have all these great ideas but you don't know my child like I know my child because I've grown up with I have had my child ever since they're a young special education teacher has them every single day you come in randomly. That's the other I think challenge that we often see.
TS7: [00:30:03] And that's that's I think where that collaboration with the secondary special ed teacher and allowing them to support you also comes into play too.
Jodee: [00:30:25] How can you as a collaborative team form those relationships and provide support to parents of students with autism or any other disability as they're transitioning from secondary to that higher education setting.
TS2: [00:30:46] I would say it's taking the time to really get to know the students. You know I mean you definitely want to bond with your team and have a strong team together. But if you truly know the student and you go into the classroom and you get to know who they are that's going to help formulate a lot better the collaboration process because you're all going to be on the same page.
Jodee: [00:31:09] Anybody else have anything else that they want to interject.
TS5: [00:31:13] I was going to say I looking at it as a process and not an event, that is really important. It's like there's not one day that you're doing that transition plan but like you're looking toward for over a year before we get to that point. For me it's so like what she just said about going in and getting to know the students. You know who's going to transition so you're preparing for that. Teachers are preparing. The student and the parents are preparing. It's not just a one meeting that we fill out this plan.
Jodee: [00:31:50] Anybody else have anything that they want to add to that.
TS4: [00:31:56] Well the only thing I would add would be making sure maybe everyone kind of alluded to that but make sure that you use Access or gain the parent perspective or any of that kind of stuff so that they feel like they their voice has been heard perhaps help to make it a little bit more collaborative effort.
Jodee: [00:32:17] OK so here's a question to poses for all of you here. A student enters the high school setting, special education teacher meets with them fills out the transition plan, The student goal is written. When. Are. You brought in to collaborate. At what point is the transition specialists supposed to be integrated to start that collaborative process. Is it something that comes from the special ed teacher to you or do you keep track of those students coming in and then go and meet with the case managers.
TS7: [00:33:04] I think it depends on what district you're in because not every district has somebody specific just for transition a lot of times it is left up to the special education teacher/case manager. You know different people do a different way. And I've seen it done both ways where the case manager takes care of things. Otherwise there's a communication plan like three months ahead of when the IEP is due where you're doing your initial assessments getting to know the kid and starting to collect some evidence to work into the transition plan.
Jodee: [00:33:47] TS3 did have something you wanted to add.
TS3: [00:33:54] Um like she was saying, not everybody has that position so it's almost as if their case manager becomes a transition person for a while. And they already know that child. So they're pretty much in it from the beginning. It's like a lot of districts don't have the money to have someone and they can't help all of them either. The kids they have to service so a lot of times they're brought in senior year. You know or they're brought in to sign off on certain things and the IEP team decides the child things like that they're going to they need a job coach their senior year. You know the transition person would come in and say OK you know we can we can do that piece. This is how we're going to transport the child or whatever they're going to do. But in a lot of times the case managers are there from the beginning.
TS4: [00:34:35] So it is the secondary transition plan a tool to foster collaboration.
TS4: [00:34:44] It can be and it should be.
TS7: [00:34:47] I mean you would hope so because you're who you want to go off of the staff member doing so well and assign components of that transition plan to their responsibility for supporting developing good skills and work toward the goals.
Jodee: [00:35:05] So just a few more questions here. What are some suggestions that you all might have to increase that collaborative process between one another?
TS6: [00:35:56] I think it is a good idea to increases collaboration.
TS4: [00:35:59] This is TS4 and I'm new to you I'm new to my district and new to my state so and also my buildings haven't had somebody dedicated to them for a while so kind of getting back in and in reminding them of of what you know is expected of them regarding to transition has been a good process but maybe a little slow process but a lot of times I've just been there to talk to them and see what I can do to help them. You know I mean I'm just kind of sometimes i maybe a little bit in their face or maybe too much but I'm always there kind of offering support and validating their struggles and all of that kind of stuff that they have. And just offering you know what is it that you think you need. You know how is it related to transition that I can help. And unlike maybe some other people I have that luxury to be able to do that right now.
Jodee: [00:36:53] Anyone else.
TS3: [00:36:59] Well I was going to say I'm kind of what TS4 is saying is to clarify roles so that everybody knows what everybody's job is and what their role is in the transition plan that helps with collaboration. Just to remind everyone I think every time. OK so you're in this role and this is what you're going to do for the child and what you're going to do for the parent...that way. And this is what we do for each other and this is how how we're going to communicate. I think it's good to do that up front and make sure everyone's clear about that.
Jodee: [00:37:25] Anyone else have anything that they want to add to that.
[00:37:31] So as a transition specialist do you feel adequately prepared to transition students with disabilities to higher education or if you don't. What are some things tools resources those types of things that you would need in order to be able to effectively do that in your opinion. This is all Your perception.
TS2: [00:37:56] Money. I think money. I mean I think honestly as a transition specialist we wouldn't be in this position if we didn't feel that that we were qualified enough to be able to assist students transition out of high school. However at the same time we do have a lot of limitations. Money is definitely one of them. Also resources as far as I know I've had a lot of difficulties getting job coaches assistants that sort of thing to help the transition process run a little bit. Well there it really when it comes to public education it really does come down to funds funding.
TS7: [00:38:43] And I had kind of the opposite experiences I had the opposite experience where we readily had money available to us to help support developing the transition plan taking it out into the community getting the work place skills that they needed. Things like getting your food handlers card taking them on tours of different either universities technical school whatever specifically pertained to them and transportation wasn't an issue because it happens to be that with some of the old transportation funds when they were expiring we were able to by transition buses. So we didn't have to worry about about setting something up the transportation and being on a limited schedule. We had readily available transportation.
TS6: [00:39:55] Wow. Good for You! That's awesome!
Jodee: [00:39:57] Anybody else have anything else that they want to add to that.
Jodee: [00:40:04] And so last question is who you speaking to kind of what TS7 just mentioned with district support but what are some of the supports that you would need from your district in order to foster that collaboration process with one another providing those resources for transition services.
TS3: [00:40:31] Oh I think training is important for especially people that are new to special education and new to transition I think training is really important that they know how to write those plans and how to service the kid the best.
TS6: [00:41:01] Really just knowing the resources are available. Well it kind of goes back to the training and knowing what resources are available and what all the different options are that are available for the students.
Jodee: [00:41:16] Anybody else have any final thoughts that they'd like to share?
Sped4 Interview 2.10.17 Audio.m4a
Jodee: [00:00:08] And we are looking at the collaborative process between secondary special ed teachers and transitioning and transition specialists when transitioning students with autism spectrum disorder or other disabilities from secondary to higher. OK so the first question is is describe the condition process as you understand it from the guidelines of the secondary transition plan.
Sped4: [00:00:52] OK. So first thing is a series of assessments that are appropriate for assessing it can include you know obviously interviewing the teacher not not the teacher the student and then sometimes parents are involved in that process. Then there's other batteries of tests. Things like the couter doing AZCIS things other interests inventories and things of that nature to get that. Looking at transcripts students grades grade reports in those things and taking those all that data and that assessment information and looking at that.That's my understanding and interpretation and kind of what I do.
Jodee: [00:01:46] So you know it's the responsibility of the secondary teacher special ed teacher as the case manager to interview the students. And you know one of the big pieces that we look at is the age appropriate goals. You know if you've got a student who is who is autistic academically They're very bright. They can do the work but they have absolutely zero social skills. And they want you maybe studied to be. They want to go into broadcast journalism or something along those lines. So it's like having you determined you know is it like a collaborative effort. You determine and work with the other person you know because sometimes you have to be that person and say yes might not be the best fit for you. How does that kind of playing into things.
Sped4: [00:02:51] I don't know like I don't mind doing that or being the one.
Sped4: [00:02:58] I haven't run into that exact situation but I have other situations where students wanted to go straight to university from high school and just had these visions of grandeur. But their GPA would not allow for that or they had other deficiencies and things of that nature. And so it's just it's sometimes it's like literally printing out the requirement and showing them just saying you know these aren't going to work. It's not a possibility. However it doesn't mean that you can't go on to higher education. And just providing them alternative routes like one if there is enough time if there for example is there a sophomore or a junior. You know we look at like Well is there enough time to get rid of these deficiencies. Can you take some of these courses. Can you do that to get your GPA up to get rid of the deficiencies et cetera. Is that feasible. Is that feasible with money or mom is mom and dad going to pay for that you know. And is there enough time or looking. OK well if that's not an option then community college is not necessarily a bad thing to do it right. When did you first get your lower level and what kind of pump would that. And look at what are the requirements for insurance for that.
Jodee: [00:05:27] Is there any part of the secondary transition plan that could facilitate collaboration.
Sped4: [00:05:27] I mean It literally does another resource that I have on the east side is EVIT. So I know that's not necessarily university or but it's a post-secondary training and we do work with that and then we work with the people at EVIT and we get the students and we have them tour. We have them try out different programs and so it yeah that's not not that's what we do you know based on that we look at you know what things we offer on campus as far as elective classes that they can take that would be geared towards it. We look at that and then try and get as many of our kids to that are interested in a program like that that have the ability you know help to make sure that they get it and get the connections.
Jodee: [00:06:28] So can you describe the successful student transition that you facilitated. No it goes back to that secondary to a special ed teacher is responsible for making sure that the transition plan is filled out and then if I go over that course for four years you have them in high school.
Sped4: [00:06:50] OK so then yeah I mean I have more and I feel like a lot of my students have been successful. So when that comes to mind I kind of wordsmith because I haven't been at the school for very long. It's only my fourth year there so haven't followed a student but I got a kiddo as a sophomore my first year so followed him through and he was very interested at first started out he wanted to be a NASCAR driver. And you know we look at that tried to you know look at what resources and what things we had related to that we started realizing and talking and collaborating with parents like they had looked into there are some schools some driving schools but it was cost prohibited out-of-state et cetera. And so it's just sort of channeling him with his focus. But in a different route I looked at and that's where we connected with it man programs there had him tour there. He started getting into the auto detailing allow that but found that through a course and there there's some doubt that he was doing that. He really likes coming up with the estimates for that and liked that more than actually doing the body work. And so he kept up with that learn how to do the bodywork learn how to figure out did that estimating gut on with an insurance company a local insurance company and was doing some work for them and sort of Fortunately got taken under the wing of an estimator there and so was getting answers. And he's he's still doing the physical body work for him since graduated high school. That was last year.
Sped4: [00:08:55] And so this year I happened to meet up with His parents in chitchatted So I got this check on how he's doing. And so he's working for the insurance company. He is still doing the body work but he's learning the trade of doing because the estimator. And so hopefully we'll do that. But he's hired on full time so useful and I know that's a good example.
Jodee: [00:09:23] That's a great example. It kind of leads into my next question but I think you really already covered that and the differences in your experiences when you did a vocational transition versus one to higher ed. Do you see differences between doing those two different types of transition?
Sped4: [00:10:01] Where I see the difference is their elective class choice those that are going and are more college like they want a career that you need a degree for as opposed to vocational training for especially those that aspire to go right to university. They tend to take well there they have to take their foreign languages. So they're taking their two years of their foreign languages their elective classes or fine arts. Oftentimes their additional math or science courses depending where students that are more vocationally geared and that's their focus and that they tend to take electives that are. More geared to their specific interests. As opposed to the necessities for admission to university. And. I don't know what's better what's worse. I mean the preference of the kids that is really nice and really great to see the kids that have a passion for something can take those classes and really. Find themselves or find out that they don't like that at all and it's not anything of what they thought and change their mind while they're still in high school before they've spent all kinds of money.
Jodee: [00:11:29] That was Going to be paired with with my next question because you know a lot of four year university student disability services which is great. But. You know and sometimes you get these kids you're like no I just want to go to a university. But that may not be the best. Setting for them. How do you shift them toward going toward community college because I know I always appreciated when a teacher of mine said you should go to community college for less money.
Sped4: [00:12:00] You know I do. I recommend that. I know I personally chose that route for the financial and other reasons. And. You know I tell them I'm like hey I'm proof like I have a degree I have a Master's but I decided not to spend as much money and just do my four. You know it's possible like I'm proof right. And so you know all is not lost just because you're not in the top 15 percent of your class and you can't walk on with a scholarship like that and still do it your dreams are still achievable.
Jodee: [00:12:40] So can you really talk about some of the strategies that you use to help each other. Remember I talked about that transition strategy in terms of. Working with the president is special ed you can see that. They might be struggling with a student as they're trying to help them do a transition process. So during that collaboration piece what does that collaboration look like. How would you Help someone to work through that.
Sped4: [00:13:13] I feel very spoiled because we have a great transition spelled specialist on our campus so. I'm sure not everybody. Has that same situation or can have that same kind of relationship.
Sped4: [00:13:34] I don't know that I have a great answer for you other than I can say there have been times where. I'm. You know sort of breaking the news to the kid and it's like well do you want to do I want to do you know. Who's going to do it. She tends to be that person honestly that makes more of the phone calls and more of the connections and runs the tours for some of those vocational training things which is nice it takes that offers me. And she'll do a lot of that coordination. So I don't have as much of that heartache or a headache. But. So I I really I can't unfortunately think of a good example of that.
Sped4: [00:14:30] It's just that you are able to communicate and collaborate together and work together and you can you you see that. OK we're going to provide the support services because that's going to help the student get where they need to be. And so it could be just heading things off at the pass before it gets to the point.
Jodee: [00:14:56] What do you think makes the collaborative process so successful. When you're when you're collaborating with your with your transition specialist. What do you think about that collaboration makes it makes it so successful?
Sped4: [00:15:14] Yeah. Well one. I mean honestly it's her personality obviously she's you know she's a person that's very easy to talk to. She's very knowledgeable. She's passionate. On the personal side I feel the reason she is as she herself has a daughter with Down's syndrome. And so I think she she knows that she lives at her. Her daughter will be graduating this year not the first time she. She knows it from both sides. And I think that's why she's so passionate and so good at it. I would say honestly if like. Going into another school another it's Personality if you don't if you're a transition specialist and or special ed teacher don't have the personality and the wherewithal to to collaborate and to put. Personal differences aside and focus on the student then it's not going to work no matter what.
Jodee: [00:16:24] So it is kind of an unusual question but it's certainly noteworthy to bring up and and. Was there ever a time during a transition. Meeting or working or collaborating with with someone else when you felt competitive.
Sped4: [00:16:48] Trying to think. I think the only times that there's been people not on the same page is honestly parents when the parents aren't necessarily on the same page as their students. As far as myself the transition specialists I read were on the kids side. I mean I will be honest to them if what they're looking for is not. Realistic but sometimes even if what they are. You know maybe the parents have a different idea. I have a current student right now that desperately wants to go right to university. He's pretty well set up to be asked to do that right now. But parents don't feel that he should they want and too many cause for so I don't know what ends. Or the parents. So that that's been more of the struggle not necessarily within team members that I work with.
Sped4: [00:18:47] Yeah I just have another one I can't believe I forgot about a this one. He didn't know he was the Poor little lost soul wasn't sure what he wanted to do. Thought he wanted to be physical therapy or working in sports med tried some of those elective classes and since got kind of turned on to radiology wanted to do something with that. That was what our transition specialists did in a past life. He was able to really give them some good information. He's a senior now but he's already enrolled in a program and it has a wait list. And so he'll he's kind of like on the waitlist while he's doing his senior year. And in addition there were a prerequisite he needed for that that we offered as elective classes here on campus. So he's taking those extra elective classes on campus as dual enrollment. And so he's getting the credits and the Prereq's done. So then when he graduates in May he's going to be able to transition into the fall.
Jodee: [00:19:54] Let's say you've got a kid kind of going back to what I talked about for the sake of a kid that's lacking great social skills. How do you prepare them? Like working collaboratively like what would be some of the things you could do with the transition specialists to work to get back to where they need to be because that's a hard thing you know teaching self advocacy and all of that kind of stuff. So what could be some things that you can do. You've got kids who are covered under IDEA and K-12 and then all of a sudden ADA. How do you help them work toward their goals?
Sped4: [00:21:15] Obviously they would have goals and or IEP that would be geared towards that with the self-advocacy and things like that. If a student qualified for speech or speech services and I'm thinking somebody with like really bad social skills may it might be likely that they age some social pragmatics skills groups or something. Obviously than the speech path would work and be involved in that in getting that that is actually occurring with my kiddo that wants to go right to university. But parents want him to go to community college and it's because he is socially awkward although he's great cognitively and academically his skills are really good. And so the speech path is working with him in groups and doing in social settings within the school. And we have goals written that are geared towards that and how he will work on that and improve his social skills with them in the classroom and collaborating working with others.
Sped4: [00:22:27] I fortunately haven't been Blessed with a case more severe than that. So I don't know. I think we would just look at all of those things. I don't know. I don't personally know of any other resources other than just like I said working and the teachers in the class room teachers doing their part to write and work on goals to improve social skills. Obviously you've got to have parent buy in and have them helping at home too.
Jodee: [00:23:15] How would you determine the strategies when collaborating with the transition specialists and best for the kids? I think you know kind of tied that back to their goals. So if you're going to if you're going to teach them. You know and they keep going back to this IDEA versus ADA.
Sped4: [00:23:51] I have learned and it's why we will steer kids towards a community college versus a university sometimes is the Community colleges tend to. Provide more and be almost almost as safe and comfortable as high school. And so for students that are in more need of services their students that tend to have more accommodations and modifications on their current IEP but yet could still continue on to higher education and be successful. Those are ones that we would. We work together and talk about and talk up the additional services and help them get registered and find their the office of service.
Sped4: [00:24:50] And you know do that and part of it like we make them prove to us that they've gone with their parent. And even though you know we tell them Mom Dad like sorry they're only going to talk to your kid. However go with them make sure and come back show us registered get you a lot of our goals for some of things. They have to register and get their student ID number show it to us. They need to take their active placer.
Jodee: [00:25:25] Can you describe the support process. During the transition of a student. With ASD or with learning disabilities. Anything like that going on higher ed. So what is the process like?
Sped4: [00:25:51] Well it's the whole long process you know like from the beginning from the time they're freshmen and they come to us and intervene. What do you want and every year we really do do that interview again. When I do the progress or every quarter during their progress reports or especially towards their transition goes hey is this still what you want to do. I've had kids in the four years every year it's an entirely different career choice. I've had to re-do the plan from beginning to end. Every single time. You know it's all right. I'm like well try and find yourself now in high school before college and you're paying too much.
Sped4: [00:26:38] But go through that like I said then it's just it's individualized to that kids that we keep up with them. We help them. If it's if it they want vocational training we ensure that they they actually enroll in it are attending it are doing it though the vocational training people are invited to their meetings. If that's not what they choose and they choose either the college route whether the university or community college you know like proof of registration like this. This is the step not step and the goals are scaffolding working up to that. So I guess that's the support process and there's always myself and the transition specialist. We invite our counselors to our meetings as well. So they're checking transcripts and grades are you on track. OK you want University. They're the ones that are helping because they kind of know exactly what universities are looking for. So they're sort of their expert for that. So I mean I'm learning a lot. What are some things I don't always know the answer to but they do. And then our transition specialists and she knows other stuff like I said she tends to be the one that actually makes the phone calls the connections et cetera with the vocational training schools and those kind of things and set up tours. So then she's there to help with that. The kids get to know all of us and just how they have of us as resources.
Jodee: [00:28:38] I'm going to go ahead and stop the recording because you OK you answered the questions
RES-866-RS-M6QualAnalysis (1) (1).docx
RES-866 Qualitative Analysis Assignment Directions
In this assignment, you will analyze interview and focus group transcripts (three in total) by inductively coding the data and developing themes. This will mimic the process and feeling of coding a large study though on a much smaller scale. Read the following key points before completing this assignment.
· Coding is a step in a thematic analysis approach to data. Different qualitative designs may require different coding procedures. For example, coding in a case study is not the same as in phenomenological or narrative designs.
· Coding is conducted based on identifying similar topics that recur in the document regardless of frequency of occurrence. Something that recurs may not be significant, but simply common. Keep focus on the meaning of statements, not in their frequency.
· For the purposes of this assignment, you will use three generic steps in the coding process: (a) open coding, (b) collapsing the dozens of codes into a manageable number of codes, and (c) development of themes.
· Coding generally follows this progression: codes>categories>themes. Codes are the smallest unit of meaning and are then subsumed into categories, which are then subsumed into themes.
· Note: Analysis of the interview and focus group transcripts should be done separately, as each had different questions. Once the transcripts for the two data sets are coded separately, then they can be combined and reconciled.
Perform the following tasks to conduct the analysis.
Task 1: Open Coding.
Hand code the data. To analyze the data, you must first identify codes and themes that appear in the data. To accomplish this, do the following:
· Make sure all transcripts are in a Word document. Do the interview transcripts first and then the focus group transcripts (see note above).
· Read each transcript several times and identify “chunks” of data (phrases, sentences, or paragraphs) that strike you as important. Mark the words in some fashion (highlight, circle, bold, underline). One idea is to highlight the transcripts, using a color for each code.
· When you recognize statements on the same topic that recur, make note of them. That is, circle or highlight them in the text.
· After reading all transcripts several times, review the recurring “chunks” of text you marked or wrote down and identify a list of useful codes.
· Create a code book that lists your codes, definitions and examples from the transcripts. See Table 1 below.
· Create a table that shows the recurring chunks of data with notes. This will help you collapse or group those numerous codes into a more manageable set.
Definition of the Code
Example From Transcript
Table 2 Chunks of Data that Appear Frequently
Chunk of data (phrases, sentences, or paragraphs)
Notes on the Words/Phrases
Notes on Emerging Categories
Write down the word(s) or phrase(s) here.
For example, do they appear in a transcript of one particular interview, or do they show up in several interviews? If they show up in several, there is a pattern that cross-cuts individuals.
As you review the list of words/phrases in column 1, and see some patterns, you can name the patterns. Collapse the repeating words/phrases into 4-5 (or whatever seems relevant) categories.
Write down the words or phrases here.
Keep writing down many words/phrases that appear frequently, until you have written them all down.
Task 2: Collapse Codes into Categories
You may have identified dozens of codes in the open coding process. During this process, you will group together like phrases and chunks of text to reduce the number of codes. Collapse the codes into a manageable list of categories by doing the following:
· Review the list of codes you identified in Table 1.
· Group together like phrases and chunks of text to reduce the number of codes to about half the number you identified in open coding. The new reductions are called categories ( use Table 2). For example your codes might include: love, hate, sadness and happiness. A category for these codes could be: emotions.
· Based on the new groups and names, create a new code book indicating the categories.
Revised Code Book
Examples From Transcript
Task 3 Develop Themes.
Do the following to identify themes:
· Review your list of categories and identify themes or overarching concepts that capture the categories.
· List the themes and substantiate them with quotations from the transcripts. Use Table 4 below.
Table 4 Inductively Developed Themes
Examples of Quotes From the Transcripts
Theme 1: Put the name of the theme here.
Put a quote here that represents the theme
Place additional examples of quotes for this theme in each cell in this table.
Theme 2: Put the name of the theme here
Put a quote here that represents the theme
Place additional examples of quotes for this theme in each cell in this table.
Repeat process with each theme
Task 4: Compile Data and Write a Thematic Narrative of Findings.
Do the following to compile the data and write a thematic narrative of findings:
· For each theme you identified, write two paragraphs that clearly describe the theme and its nature. Summarize the findings in your own words, but be sure to weave in evidence from quotes to illustrate your points.
· Include the code book and the tables you created to show the data graphically/visually.
© 2018. Grand Canyon University. All Rights Reserved.