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How can I support my child with special needs from ages 12 to 14?

The following are suggestions on how you can support the development of your child with special needs from 12 to 14 years old:

Development
  • Discuss relationships, sexuality, online safety, and personal safety with your teen.
  • Explore and talk about possible career interests.
  • Help your teen recognize his or her strengths and skills. Encourage independence!
  • Actively involve your teen in family chores.
  • Encourage hobbies and a variety of recreational activities.
  • Encourage friendships.
  • Help your teen identify and interact with adult or older teen role models.
  • Encourage volunteer activities.
  • Talk about transportation awareness including:
    • Pre-driving skills like reading signs and understanding rules of the road
    • Reading bus route maps and schedules
  • Encourage and discuss how to apply for a job
  • Communicate with your teen as much as possible.
Medical
  • Ask your teen what he or she knows about his or her special healthcare needs. Fill in gaps in understanding.
  • Support your child and have him or her practice self-care skills. Support your child's independent skills related to his or her special needs.
Education
  • If your teen has a health plan, a 504 Health Plan or an IEP (Individualized Educational Program) encourage him or her to participate in the planning meetings and implementation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.