Youth (4 to 10 years old)

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Building Blocks for the Future

From ages 4-10, the foundation is being set as the child begins to understand the school structure and put into place supports for academic success. This stage allows the ability to set expectations that the child is a contributing citizen and sets the child up for success to begin learning about self-advocacy, as well as soft skills such as listening and respecting others.

Below are some suggestions for a child to engage in their own IEP / 504 Plan Meetings. These guidelines are intended to encourage development of self-advocacy skills. It is never too late to begin engaging in these ways:

  • Ask the child to come to the first 5-10 minutes of the meeting
  • Prepare the child before the meeting: who will be there, what the child may want to share, what is an IEP/504 Plan
  • Encourage the child to introduce themselves (may include a handshake)
  • Encourage the child to introduce everyone in the meeting
  • Encourage the child to share what they want to be when they grow up or at least one thing they like to do
  • Encourage the child to share one area they like about school and one area they would like help in

Outside of school, self-advocacy is important as well. Here are some suggestions on ways to support the child:

  • Give a chore or other responsibility at home (examples: Remind me to lock the doors at bedtime, make the bed, get lunchbox out so it is ready)
  • Engage child in everyday tasks
  • Sign up child for an extracurricular activity (example: Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts, youth athletic teams, youth groups, afterschool activities)