Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Life After High School and Other Challenges

MINNEAPOLIS -- Sam Hesla loves basketball, tennis and karate. He DJs at weddings and high school graduations. The 21-year-old hates the idea that his sister, who is two years younger than him, might move out of his mom’s house first.
Hesla has Down syndrome, and although he’s broken many of the stereotypes associated with the disability, he may never live entirely independently. Housing is just one of many details he and his family are grappling with as he graduates from Minneapolis Public Schools’ Transition Plus program, designed for 18- to 21-year-olds with disabilities.
Hesla is in the middle of what some experts call the “transition cliff,” a time in the life of a young person with a disability when they leave the hyper-structured universe of public special education and enter a much less supportive adult world.

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