Helping youth build a vision for their best life can reinforce self-determination and provide motivation during transition planning.
To understand what it means for someone to live their best life, you must truly listen to the person. What are their dreams? What do they want and need to make those dreams come true?
Awareness: Understand best life concepts and tools to support transition planning.
Exploration: Identify strengths, preferences, interests and needs to build a vision for their best life.
Preparation: Practice using tools and strategies to advocate for their best life and build a foundation for employment, independent living, and postsecondary education or training.
Implementation: Use self-advocacy, self-determination and self-efficacy skills in daily life.
Instruction in self-advocacy
LEARN: Develop your knowledge
Learn how to support youth as they develop their best lives.
Charting the LifeCourse tools can help youth answer critical questions:
What is a good life for you?
What do you not want in your life?
What do you need to have a good life?
The framework's tools can also help youth:
Advocate for what they want
Work through problems
Make informed choices
Charting the LifeCourse encourages people to have high expectations for what life can be like and then explore what needs to happen to get there. LifeCourse provides youth ways to prepare and advocate for the future, taking into consideration what's important to them and their family. These person-centered tools put youth in the driver's seat, allowing them to have a voice.
Charting the LifeCourse also allows families and other team members to advocate for what's needed. Watch this 1-minute video to hear a mother's story about how Charting the LifeCourse was important for her and her son.
As a professional, understanding what you need for your own best life can help you guide youth as they define their best lives.
Consider the following questions, and then write down your answers:
What things are important to you to have your best life?
What do you need to build your best life?
What supports will help you live your best life?
Do: Work with youth
Help youth develop self-advocacy skills and knowledge of disability awareness and rights.
The Charting the LifeCoursetransition to adulthood guide (PDF) introduces what makes up a good life and helps youth begin thinking through common questions. Encourage youth to share the guide with their family, and choose one or two questions to discuss.