The Second Shock: A Qualitative Study of Parents' Perspectives and Needs during Their Child's Transition from School to Adult Life

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The Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps


A study examined parents' perspectives and needs as their cognitively disabled child made the transition from school to adult life. Findings indicated that parents had a vision of a happy, safe residential situation; strong social networks; and constructive filling of the child's free time. All of them envisioned connections with their child that characterized the family as a unit that never totally dissolved. Most parents would be more comfortable if their child had friends, leisure activities that were similar to those they engaged in when living at home, a secure job, a reliable transportation system, and a safe place in which to live that was similar to home.