Alex’s Education Journey: Reflections & Tips by a Military Connected Youth with Disabilities

Alex is a young man who considers himself a “military brat”; he grew up in an Air Force family. He’s also one of the Branch’s military-connected consultants who help us with research, writing, and their lived experiences in the military community. Alex is an individual living with a disability which did not significantly affect his education.

Here is Alex’s education journey:

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Scholarships! Financial Resources for Military and Non-military Youth with Disabilities

A college education can be extremely expensive, and debt from student loans can impact students and their families for years. Military parents may have financial challenges paying for college as military salaries and benefits don’t always stretch to cover today’s higher education costs. Earning scholarships is an excellent way to lower future monthly payments; some scholarship awards completely cover annual college expenses!

Below are two resources: scholarships for military-connected youth, and scholarships for youth with disabilities. The lists include awards for two- and four-year undergraduate degrees, graduate studies and vocational programs. All scholarships are national in scope; a few are international. Youth and their families may find scholarships that fit their needs or inspiration for a further search. Parent centers:  feel free to select and share the most relevant scholarships for the families you serve. These lists are great for youth outreach, email campaigns, social media, workshops, support groups, resource fairs and newsletters.

Help for Grandparents and Other Temporary Caregivers of Military Children-with Handout

It’s fairly common for military-connected children to stay with other family members or family friends when their parent’s military duties take them away for extended periods.  Parents will try to anticipate what the caregiver will need but life has a way of inserting the unexpected. Parent centers can use these resources to help:

  • Military parents planning for their child’s time away
  • Long- and short-term temporary caregivers

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Post-High School Transition Resource for Military Families-with handout

Parent Center staff who work with military-connected youth during their crucial high school years know how disruptive a move can be, particularly “re-doing” a transition IEP with new sources of State and local training, support, and services. Parent Centers have the contacts and information to help the youth and family move ahead.

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Great New Addition to the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)

Military OneSource “EFMP Resources, Options and Consultations” (EFMP ROC) is a new program that provides military families who have members with special health or educational needs with enhanced services   Special needs consultants are available by appointment, via phone or video at no cost, and there is no limit to the number of appointments families can make.

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Help Military Families Prepare Their Child’s School for Deployment -with handout!

As we know, having a parent away for a lengthy time places extra stress on children and the at-home parent, siblings or other care givers. No matter how often a military parent is deployed, and no matter how well-prepared a child might be for a parent’s absence, children with disabilities may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of stress on their physical and emotional well-being.

To help improve support for the child and increased understanding and support from teachers and schools, here are a few ways you and your center can help military families prepare their child’s school for deployment:

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Resolve School Issues with the Interstate Compact-2 Parent Handouts

The Interstate Compact is an excellent tool for your work with military families. There are resources for parents that describe what the Interstate Compact is, and what it can be used for. These two handouts are for military parents who want to know what specific steps to take to start resolving issues by using the Compact, and what their next steps are if their first efforts don’t succeed. You’ll find them helpful too!

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Procedural Safeguards in Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) Schools

Parent Centers know the Procedural Safeguards in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Did you know that Department of Defense Activity (DoDEA) Schools have their own processes? If you work with military families who have a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) to or from these locations or work in the following locations (whose children attended or plan on attending a DoDEA school) this information will be particularly helpful for you.  Continue reading “Procedural Safeguards in Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) Schools”