International Adoption Info

Newsletter #137 for Internationally Adopting Parents
October 31, 2010
PAL Center Inc.


Update and enrich
your parenting skills with


Online Class
for parents adopting older children internationally



November 5-6th, 2010
Good Hope Adoption Services, Inc

School Issues Of Internationally Adopted Children.

Cumulative Cognitive Deficit in Internationally Adopted Children

November 17, 2010
Susan Luger Associates

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in internationally adopted children

November 21th, 2010
30th APC Adoption Conference

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in International Adoptees:
Differential Diagnosis and Remediation.

Psychological assessment of internationally adopted children –
what to request and expect
from the professionals.

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Questions and Answers

Planning Transition to Life After School
for FAS Children

Our daughter has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome diagnosis. She is in High School this year, and we will need to prepare her for the "life after school." Do you have any recommendations when and how to begin this process?

From a message of a parent

Dr. Boris Gindis

The children who have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and who are in the last year of middle school or in the beginning of high school (14-16 years old) are in need of a transitional plan. This plan has to cover their high school years and the transition period to life after it.

According to the IDEA, 2004 revision, (Section 300.43, FR Doc 06-6656, Federal Register: 8/14/2006, Volume 71, Number 156), transition plan means a coordinated set of activities for a person with a disability that:

(1) Is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.

(2) Is based on the individual child's needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences, and interests; and includes:

  • Instruction
  • Related services
  • Community experiences
  • The development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives
  • If appropriate, the acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation

Transition services for children with disabilities may be provided via special education, if offered as specially designed instructions, or via related services, if required to assist a child with disability. The plan should include special counseling called "career training", or "job coach", etc. Special vocation counseling has to be arranged for the student with FAS to make the transition to the post-secondary school education/training more effective.

The first step in creation of such plan is to register the child who has an official FAS diagnosis with the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). That is how this organization is titled in NY; in different states there can be different names for this office. For example, in Arizona it is called Rehabilitation Services Administration; in Massachusetts it is Rehabilitation Commission; in Texas it is Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, etc. A counselor from this office will be assigned to your child. In some states these counselors actually write a transitional plan, but in others (e.g. NY, NJ) they merely contribute to the plan that is written by a school district or a transitional specialist who can be hired privately. You and your child should be involved in creation of the transitional plan as well.

To the best of my knowledge, most school districts with high schools have an agreement with the local DVR office to assist with developing a transitional plan, called, again differently in different places, like: Youth Transition Program or School to Work Transition Program, etc.

In order to get more information on this topic, please read a book written by Susan Yellin and Christina Cacioppo Bertsch, titled: Life After High School: A Guide for Students With Disabilities and Their Families, available at: It is my understanding that Mrs. S. Yellin is a consultant on transitional planning. She can be contacted at: Yellin Center for Student Success
Another available book is Guiding Your Teenager with Special Needs Through the Transition from School to Adult Life: Tools for Parents from Mary Korpi, available at


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