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May 2018 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
Supporting children with disabilities and their families through the transition into adulthood is an important role for social workers. Starting early is a key strategy. This month’s E-News Exclusive offers some guidelines for preparing clients and their families to navigate this challenging passage.

We welcome your comments at Visit our website at, like our Facebook page; and follow us on Twitter.

— Marianne Mallon, editor
e-News Exclusive
Transitioning Children With Autism and Other Disabilities Into Adulthood
By Misty Simmons, MSW, LSW

Independence. What does the word “independence” mean to children with developmental disabilities? Can parents expect them to live independently? Living and working every day, without relying on family or school for everything they need? The thought of this is overwhelming, almost frightening for many parents.

But people with developmental disabilities can lead happy, productive lives and become contributing members of society if given the chance and the proper support services. As social workers, preparing and supporting children with disabilities to successfully transition from school to adult community living and employment is one of the most important responsibilities we have.

Transition services are a balance of teaching everyday life skills together with vocational skills. The primary purpose of transition planning is to prepare students with disabilities to develop competency across three skill areas in order to proactively involve them in their communities: personal and social skills, daily living skills, and occupational and vocational skills.

Student and family involvement throughout the planning process is critical to transition success, as is starting at an early age.

While many school districts might not initiate the subject of transition planning until the child is 17 or 18, it is recommended that successful transition planning begin at age 14. For families, the phrases and terms can be confusing, overwhelming, or just foreign to them. But the sooner we start to familiarize them with what's approaching, the smoother and less anxiety-inducing the process will be. We certainly don’t expect families to remember it all after the first meeting, but regular discussions can help cement usable information for them as they approach 18 to 21 years of age.

Full Story »
Tech & Tools
Students Distracted by Social Media Are Still Listening

A new study finds that social media distraction in the classroom interferes with visual, but not auditory, learning in college students. The paper is published in Advances in Physiology Education.

Almost one-half of all college students use social media for an estimated two to five hours a day. Previous research suggests that unless social media activity in the classroom is related to academic work, “distractive multitasking” on social media sites leads to a lower grade-point average and poorer overall academic performance. This is largely because students who focus on mobile devices during class are not likely to fully acquire lecture information delivered visually. However, whether or not they are able to retain information presented verbally is less clear.

Read more »
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In this e-Newsletter
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Gift Shop
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Mental Health Coverage Inequities Seen Since Parity Law
The Chicago Tribune says advocates see potential Mental Health Parity Law violations when patients and providers are told services are not covered because they are medically unnecessary or require preauthorization—difficult-to-dispute decisions that can make behavioral health services less accessible.
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