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Strategies for Successful Transitioning. April 10, 2008 Adolescents and Adults with FASD Conference Vancouver, B.C. Kathi Hughes and Stacey Wakabayashi. Purpose. To develop a common understanding of enhanced transitioning practices To describe successful transitioning strategies

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Strategies for successful transitioning

Strategies for Successful Transitioning

April 10, 2008

Adolescents and Adults with FASD Conference

Vancouver, B.C.

Kathi Hughes


Stacey Wakabayashi


  • To develop a common understanding of enhanced transitioning practices

  • To describe successful transitioning strategies

  • To share challenges, solutions and resources.


  • Introduction 3:30 - 3:40

  • Developing an Understanding 3:40 - 3:50

  • Successful Strategies 3:50 - 4:20

  • Case Studies 4:20 - 4:35

  • Challenges and Solutions 4:35 - 4:45

  • Resources 4:45 - 5:00


  • “a change or passing from one condition, place, thing, activity, topic, etc to another”

  • “sound preparation + adequate support

    = quality of life” (C. Grove)

  • “students who are experiencing a process of change from a familiar environment and known support network to an unfamiliar environment with an unknown support network”(K. Hughes, 1993)

Definition continued
Definition - continued

  • “Transition planning is the (necessary) preparation, implementation and evaluation required to enable students to make major transitions during their lives - from home to pre-school, from class to class, from school district to school district, and from school to post secondary, community or work situations.” (Ministry of Education, IEP Planning)

Definition continued1
Definition - continued

  • “students who are experiencing a process of change from a familiar environment and known support network to a different environment with a continued support network”(K. Hughes, 2008)

Why transitioning planning
Why Transitioning Planning?

  • Enhance quality of life

  • Increase success

  • Focus on strengths and abilities

  • Provide accommodations for primary disabilities

  • Prevent/decrease secondary disabilities

  • Share “what works” to create a “good fit”

Linking mental health fasd
Linking Mental Health & FASD

  • Streissguth (1996)

    • Mental health problems (more than 90%)

    • Disrupted school experience (60%)

    • Problems with employment (79% of 90 individuals)

  • Clark (2004)

    • At least one mental health diagnosis (92%)

    • Primary diagnoses:

      • Depression, ADD, ADHD, panic disorder

Percent of persons with fasd who had secondary disabilities
Percent of Persons with FASD who had Secondary Disabilities

 = Age 6+ = Age 12+ = Age 21+

(Streissguth, 1996)

Key principles
Key Principles

  • Thoughtful and deliberate

  • Collaborative

  • Comprehensive

  • Supported by ongoing education

    (Alberta Learning, Individualized Program Planning,

    Chapter 8, pp.1 - 3)

Conceptual understanding
Conceptual Understanding

  • Preparing for transition is essential for all students; for students with diverse needs…

  • Career life transition planning can be integrated into existing individual planning activities

  • Students’ needs and interests should be the primary determinants in selecting the goals

Conceptual understanding cont
Conceptual Understanding- cont.

  • Career / life transition planning should enhance student empowerment and self- determination

  • Students and, if relevant, their parents or guardians should be helped to become effective self-advocates and knowledgeable users of service

    (Ministry of Education, Career Life Transitions, p. 2)

Best practice
Best Practice

  • Person-centered planning

  • Youth involvement

  • Family involvement

  • Community involvement

  • Identification and use of a Transition Coordinator

  • Interagency collaboration

    (MCFD: Transition Planning for Youth with Special Needs, p. 5)

Strategies for success
Strategies for Success

  • Start “early”- transitioning is a process

  • Form a team

  • Gather and share information

  • Develop the transitioning plan

  • Implement the transitioning plan

  • Assess the plan… and change as required

  • Develop an ongoing support process

Students strategies for success
Students: Strategies for Success

  • Know my strengths

  • Provide support and structure

  • Let me choose my team

    • 5 W-H

  • Give me work experience

  • Let me develop a relationship

  • Give me one key person - (advocate)

  • Give me 1 step at a time - do not overwhelm me

Students strategies for success1
Students: Strategies for Success

  • Let me choose what I want to share

  • Let me choose what I want to work on …but guide me

  • Let me visit… many times!

  • Help me make lists, draw maps, practice…

  • Tell me (or write down) what you expect

  • Give me lots of time

  • Help me figure out the system

“Don’t make me

sink or swim”

(Anonymous student quote)

Parents strategies for success
Parents: Strategies for Success

  • Involve me in the planning

  • Give me the information ahead of time

  • Help me figure out the system

  • Give me lots of warning of meetings

  • Listen to me

  • Ask me who should be involved

  • Orient me to the new environment and

    new people

    • I may be the advocate - or I may ask for an advocate


no surprises”

(Anonymous parent quote)

Teachers strategies for success
Teachers: Strategies for Success

  • Inform me about the student’s strengths and needs

  • Tell me what works … what motivates…

  • Educate me -about FASD and mental health

  • Give me strategies for success

  • Let me meet the student, listen to the student and let me explain my program / expectations

  • Plan transitioning “early”!

  • Keep paper flow to a minimum

  • Connect me with one advocate

“Tell us what works”

(Anonymous teacher quote)


  • Developing an understanding of FASD

  • Building relationships - both ways

  • Being student-centered - build on strengths

  • Forming a planning team - who is advocate?

  • Providing structure

  • Sharing information - specific and succinct

  • Organizing visits, orientation (expectations)

  • Starting planning as early as possible

Ministry of education graduation transitions 2007 for a grade 12 dogwood
Ministry of Education Graduation Transitions (2007) for a Grade 12 “Dogwood”

  • Personal Health

  • Community Connections

  • Career and Life

    • Transition plan

      (Ministry of Education: Program Guide for Graduation)

Ministry of education school completion portfolio for the bc school completion certificate
Ministry of Education School Completion Portfolio for the “BC School Completion Certificate”

  • Requirements:

    • Completion of Individual Education Plan Goals

      • Transition plan

    • Completion of Personal Development Criteria

    • Presentation of Portfolio

      (Ministry of Education: Program Guide for Graduation)

An effective planning tool
An Effective Planning Tool….

  • Identifies team members

  • Uses strengths and interests

  • Acknowledges youth’s goals

  • Maps out the steps for achieving goals

  • Acknowledges the needs

  • Provides accommodations to support those needs

Know your client
Know your client

  • Strengths and Relationship

  • Ask questions…

    • Child in care?

    • Status?

    • Special advocate?

    • Special relationships?

    • Other agencies - special conditions? (eg MCFD; RCMP)

Know your client cont
Know your client…cont…

  • Who is the peer group? Mentors?

  • Awareness of stressors of “ageing out”

    • Other issues

    • re attachment and…

    • healthy choices

    • Acceptance of abilities and disabilities?

    • Legal rights?

    • Validation, inclusion BUT “directed interventions”, relationship and structure!

    • Include the caregiver!

Case study
Case Study

  • Introduction

  • Individual Education Plan (IEP)

  • Process

  • Transitioning - community resources

  • “LEIC T”

  • Transitioning Planning Form

How do i make community connections
How do I make community connections?

  • Community Resources / Agencies

  • Supports

  • FASD Action Funds

  • Key Worker and Parent to Parent Support

  • MCFD and CLBC

  • Adult Mental Health Services


  • Understanding the system

    • Acronyms

  • Eligibility for supports / services

  • Assessment and diagnosis

  • Locating and accessing quality services

  • Ongoing support and involvement

  • Continuity of services and human resources

Where to
Where to…

  • Representative for Children and Youth

    • two reports

  • MCFD

    • FASD: Building on Strengths: A Provincial

    Plan for BC 2008 - 2018

  • CLBC

    • impact of Fahlman appeal; new eligibility process

  • FASD Action Funds (Victoria Foundation)

  • Key Workers and Parent to Parent Support

  • Other…???


  • See handout package

Thank you
Thank you


Prince George, B.C.

(250) 564-6574