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Special Education Workshop Helping Clay Families Monday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Special Education Workshop Helping Clay Families Monday

ARC will hold a Special Education Workshop to help Clay County parents facilitate their child’s transition to college or the workforce.

Regional Family Engagement Specialist Kristie Irvin said many parents are unaware of the opportunities ahead of their children after high school. She said she aims to help parents understand special education at the college level and ways special education graduates find success in adulthood.

“We want to fit it to that student individualized because every student’s different,” Irvin said. “Every person with Down syndrome is not the same. Every person with Autism is not the same. So, we fit it where they can live out in the community. They can work in the community. They can contribute to the community.”

Irvin said many parents have been so busy caring for their child that they have not been able to keep track of the growing choices they have for the child after graduation. The workshop will shed light on these pathways Monday afternoon at 4:00pm at the Clay County Schools Central Office.

“We go in to try and assist families and educators, students as well on advocating for themselves, the parents to advocate for their students,” Irvin said. “What we are is a bridge to try to smoothly have education, the school systems, the family work beautifully together.”

Irvin said there has been substantial advancement in opportunities for people with disabilities. She said special education students can attend four-year universities, take classes at TCAT, and hold jobs in today’s world.

“There’s able accounts,” Irvin said. “There’s money that can be there for them in means that they may not know about. There’s conservatorship and legal things involved too, so there’s a lot of nuts and bolts. I wouldn’t expect the average parent to know all of that.”

She said she hopes parents leave the meeting with a sense of relief. She said helping a teenager with a disability transition into life after grade school is daunting, so she wants parents to know that ARC is a resource to support and guide them through the process.


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