Dear Family,

Think ahead to three months after your teen graduates. She has an array of options. What will she be doing? Regardless of which option she chooses, there are basic skills she will need to acquire so she can assume the responsibilities of adulthood and be her own homemaker. From goal setting to budgeting to knowing when to see the doctor, there are essential life skills your teen needs to know before she graduates high school. In order for her to thrive as a productive member of society, your teen needs to learn to rely less and less on you. You can gradually release more and more responsibility to your teen. The next article you will read highlights four key areas in which your teen needs to have skills regardless of the postsecondary choice she pursues. As you read the article, reflect on the skills your teen has mastered, identify some priority areas your teen needs instruction in, and define what you can do to help her learn and practice those skills at home.

(Teacher Name/Contact information)



Complete the activities and return your responses to your teen’s professional to review and respond to.

Activity 1: Developing Skills for Future Success

Read Life After High School: Preparing Your Child for What Comes Next. The article places an emphasis on all the skills young adults need, regardless of their plans for the future. After you read the article, answer the following questions:

  1. Where will your teen live right after high school?
  2. Five years from now, where will your teen be living?
  3. Does your teen have the independent living skills she needs to live on her own?
  4. How will your teen get to work, school, personal appointments, social activities, etc.?
  5. Can your teen travel safely and independently in the community now?
  6. Does your teen have friends?
  7. Does your teen have a rewarding and happy social life?
  8. What recreation and leisure activities does your teen currently participate in?

Read Household Responsibilities. Complete the chart below by rating your teen’s skills on a scale of 1–5, with a 5 indicating that the skill is accomplished at an independent level, a 3 indicating that the teen needs instruction in the skill and a 1 indicating that your teen is not performing this skill. Your teen’s professional will rate your teen’s skills in each area after you return the activity. You will receive a copy of the activity with the professional’s input to assist in prioritizing the responsibilities your teen should have at home and school to increase her skills.

Skill Area

Family Rating

What will you do at home to help your teen learn this skill?

Check this box if you need more information on teaching this skill.

Professional Rating

Personal Living Skills





Takes care of personal hygiene and grooming needs

Washes, folds, and puts away laundry

Irons garments

Packs a suitcase

Makes and follows a budget

Uses and balances a checking account

Uses an ATM

Saves money to buy a desired item

Keeps track of important papers

Performs basic housekeeping skills (washes dishes, vacuums, cleans bathroom, makes bed, etc.)

Locates and uses a circuit breaker

Locates and uses water shutoffs

Safely uses all household appliances

Communicates clearly on the phone

Cooks a well-balanced meal

Uses a microwave

Shops for personal and food needs

Creates and follows a schedule

Manages time to meet deadlines

Knows when to see a doctor and when to call 911

Orientation and Mobility Skills

Gets from one place to another

Gets to places by riding in a car with a friend





Walks safely to places

Uses the bus, train, and/or taxi to get around

Social Skills

Establishes and maintains a variety of friendships





Works effectively in groups





Demonstrates confidence





Manages stress





Engages in organized social activities

Engages in fitness activities

Demonstrates courteous behavior

Attempts new things

Identifies and solves problems

Follows rules

Stays aware of world and local news

Technology Skills





Has competitive keyboarding skills (~40–60 wpm)

Researches on the Internet efficiently

Knows how to request technical help for technology

Uses a backup plan when technology isn’t available

For additional information on preparing your teen, read Preparing for Independence.


From completing this activity, I learned….
I would like more information on….
I have the following questions for my teen’s professional….
I am going to do the following things to prepare my teen for transition….