Workshop helps teens with disabilities transition to adulthood

A Bloomington, Minnesota organization is working with families to help teens with disabilities make the transition to adulthood.

The PACER Center held a workshop Thursday night to give parents advice for transition planning.

“We get calls to PACER Center from families who want to know ‘What can we do?’” said Renelle Nelson, project director from PACER.

For parents and loved ones of kids with disabilities, finding a solution has never been more important.

“I’ve just kind of watched him go from a sweet loving kid to a kid that’s got anger issues with everything and everybody,” said Angela Hansen, a local mother.

Hansen’s 14-year-old son Nicolas suffers from Asperger’s and with adulthood not far away she can’t help but worry.

“My concerns with him is he is going to have a hard time when he’s got a boss that he’s got to listen to,” said Hansen.

It’s a concern shared by many who attended Thursday’s meeting.

“We talk about how parents can work with their teens to identify what their needs are, so self-awareness, self-advocacy,” said Nelson.

It all comes as special education is in the spotlight as the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday to raise the standard for educational benefits owed to kids with disabilities.

“We are very excited because we do not believe that appropriate education is minimal education,” said Nelson.

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