Chapter 11: Planning For Your Future

“You might wonder how your future can be part of the mystery of your learning disability. But really, what is more, mysterious than the future? Of course, we can’t really see into your future, but when you have a learning disability it is extremely important to plan ahead.”
“As you have learned, a learning disability does not end when you go home from school each day. And it doesn’t end when you graduate from high school. It doesn’t even end when you finish college or technical school. In fact, it never ends!”
“That’s why you need to start thinking about how your learning disability can affect you, not only today, but tomorrow, next year, and forever…….”
“Planning for the future is about keeping doors open for you.
That means keeping lots of options available. Believe it or not, decisions you make today can really change the options you have available to you in the future.” “In this chapter, we are going to help you start planning for your future. And we will try to figure out how your learning disability may affect your future plans.””
Enough of this chit-chat! Let’s get started!!”

There are three main parts to your future that we will cover:
  High School After High School Career
Instead of having questions at the end of this chapter, we will have questions all through this chapter to help with your planning. Let’s get started.

Planning for High School:

What did you do in high school prepare you for the rest of your life? And in high school, what you do really depends upon how well you can advocate for yourself.
High school can be very big and overwhelming, especially when you have a learning disability. There is usually a lot of reading and writing, and teachers often have pretty high expectations.
  Even if you have a case manager to advocate for you, high school is really the place for you to become your own advocate.
  See if you can answer the following questions as you start to prepare for high school:
Think of three people who could help you start planning for high school. 2. Who can you turn to (besides your case manager) for support when things get tough? 3. How can you organize your time to cope with all of the homework? 4. How would you find out what classes you will need in order to graduate? 5. How would you find out what classes you will need in order to get into college or vocational/technical school? 6. What kinds of classes do you think will be especially hard for you because of your learning disability? 7. What kinds of accommodations might you need in difficult classes? 8. Who could help you learn what accommodations are available to you for college entrance exams (ACT, SAT, etc.)? 9. What accommodations might you need for career testing?

Remember, you need to keep doors open for your future. If you think that college is even a remote possibility, you have to make sure to keep that option available. You have to be willing to let teachers and counselors know when you need accommodations.
  Planning for after High School:
  What do you think you will be doing after high school? What do you think you might need to do in order to keep all of your career doors open?

1. Do you think you will want to (or need to) go to college? 2. Will you need some form of vocational/technical school? 3. How would you find out if your career choices would require college?

4. What accommodations might you need for higher education? 5.   How would you find out what support might be available to you in college or vocational/technical school?

After high school you may go right into a career. Or you may enter some form of higher education. In either case, your learning disability can be a very important issue for you. Will you be prepared?
Planning Career Choices:
If we can start thinking about your most likely career choices now, planning for high school and after high school will be much easier. So, let’s start with a few questions to get the ball rolling.
What do you see yourself doing ten years from now?  

2.   List 3 jobs you might see for yourself? 3. Do you think you want to work indoors or outdoors? 4. Do you like working with your hands? 5. What special talents or abilities would you like to be able to use in your career? 6. Do you like working with people or alone? 7. Are there activities you really want to avoid (like writing, reading, etc.)? 8. Might you want to live in a foreign country?

You probably have several ideas for possible career options. That’s great! At this point, we need to keep as many doors open for you as possible. Right now there are many, many things you could do with your life. You just need to start thinking about the possibilities. And, while thinking about all these career possibilities, think about how your learning disability might affect your career.
“But this is just the start. You need to always be thinking about what you might need to do now so that you can do what you really want to do in the future. And with a learning disability, planning for the future is especially important.”
“Well, it looks like we have come to the end of this very interesting mystery…”  
“But wait!! We have covered a lot of information. And one important thing we have learned is that learning disabled students usually learn best when they are given a very clear summary of what was taught. I know that always helps me.”
“So let’s take just one more chapter to summarize all we have learned.”
Return to Table of Contents
Proceed to Chapter 12 – The Summary 
Published with Permission Of Writer: Scott L. Crouse, Ph.D. A website dedicated to the advancement of practical knowledge and understanding about the often mysterious world of Learning Disabilities. 
Copyright � 1996 Scott L. Crouse