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Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
9am-5pm Monday - Thursday
T: 9841 444

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Library Thursdays: The Power to Spring Up

The Power to Spring Up: Postsecondary Education Opportunities for Students with Significant Disabilities by Diana M. Katovitch (Woodbine House, 2009) looks at continuing education past high school for people with disabilities that include Down syndrome. It discusses the benefits for the people with disabilities as well as society to having educational opportunities after students leave high school. The book looks at the various types of programs in the United States and Canada. The needs of the student and questions to ask to determine the best program are covered. Specific programs in existence in the United States are detailed to give an idea of what is available, but it is explained that more programs are being created all the time.
There is advice for students to help them decide what may be right for them, advice to secondary school teachers for preparing students with the skills they will need and advice to the parents to help their child succeed, much of which centers on "letting go" and building independence. Funding is also looked at.
Although the book is not specific to Down syndrome, it is relevant to those who are interested in continuing education of any kind after high school. Some of the advice could be of use to any student with or without a disability moving away from parents. There are good references and recommended reading and also a list of resources but the resources are probably more useful to Americans.
I think it is a good companion to the Down syndrome transition handbook by Jo Ann Simons (reviewed here) for students about to finish high school and their families who are ready to think about options for the future. Keep an eye out for an article by Patricia O'Brien in the next (December) issue of Voice about a tertiary program at Trinity College in Dublin and the postsecondary education in Australia.
If you'd like to borrow The power to spring up or anything else in the library, just call or email.

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