Happy Monday! Things are all a bit off right now with the M-Step but we will charge forward! I am posting this on Monday due to our Friday meeting this week. Sorry for those of you who like to get your LINKS homework done over the weekend. I just did not have time to get this post up! Luckily, your homework is all quite easy this week.
In class on Friday we hit on the topic of autism and employment. Your job was to work with a partner to read and complete a summary of an article assigned. If you were not in class on Friday, I have shared the list of articles with you (Google Docs). Please choose one of the bottom four articles listed and complete the summary. I have the extra summary pages in my room. You will be reporting out on your article in class this coming Friday.
At the end of class Mrs. Hoekwater and I took a few minutes to describe what we have available after high school for students with disabilities here in Ottawa County. Most of our students will begin (post graduation) by going to a CBI program (Community Based Instruction).
At one of these locations (they can be places in Grand Haven, Holland, Hudsonville, Zeeland, etc.) they will take classes on life skills, vocational skills, independent living skills, personal care and functional academics that would help to prepare them for adulthood. So basically they get the experience of being at a high school and their "college" or post-high school time is spent on those important independent skills.
Each CBI location has different goals for the students based on their abilities, and also has many different job sites for them to practice working at. There is also the option for students to train and work at Kandu, which is a factory for people with disabilities.
The focus for all of this CBI training is for students to later go out and have a paid position somewhere. With their training and different work opportunities, hopefully a business will hire them. Often our students will get jobs at a grocery store, or as a dish washer, or maybe even a fast food restaurant.
I want to tell you about one other option that our students have. Recently local colleges such as Hope and Calvin have began programs for students to come to college. They have their own classes where they learn all of the important skills that the CBI programs teach, but they also are able to go into a few of the college classes- often a class of interest. Maybe a P.E. class? The students also have work placements on campus, such as the dining hall or cleaning classrooms.
One last piece to these college placements, at least out at Hope (unsure about Calvin) is that the students can even live on campus! Hope has a dorm called the Friendship House where students with disabilities and college or seminary students live side-by-side together. It is almost like a LINKS class for college students! (Which, by the way, GVSU has! It is for higher functioning ASD students- but you can be a LINK in college!)
The only bummer about these college programs for our students is that their parents have to pay for them. The CBI programs are free until our students are 26. The college programs cost a lot of money. But if parents truly want their child to have that experience- it's there for them!
Beyond the information that you are going to share in our class on Friday, these are a few of the local programs that we have for our boys. It will be interesting to see where they each end up in the years to come!
Enjoy the following video and good luck on your last few M-Step tests this week!