Special-Needs Students Gain Workplace Experience

For students with emotional or behavioral disabilities, navigating the transition from high school to a job or to college can be more daunting than it is even for other students with special needs.

Research suggests that these students have no more trouble than other students finding work after leaving school, but that they often lack the “soft skills” required to stick with employment for the long term.

Specialized Education Services, Inc., a 56-school network in 12 states that educates students with behavioral and learning disabilities who have been placed by their local school districts, is among the organizations attempting to break that cycle.

The network has several schools that have reached out to small businesses in their communities to help provide job experiences for its students. Those businesses have proven willing to provide technical training as well as to offer support in job skills such as punctuality, initiative, and good customer service. The work experiences start when the students are in school, and can continue even after the youths have graduated.

In return, the business owners say they gain enthusiastic trainees, whose past behavioral issues in the classroom seem not to carry over when they’re on a job. And the businesses are also happy to be offering support for local youth. <Read more.>

Via Christina A. Samuels, Education Week.

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