ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – As a person with learning disabilities or the parent of a child with LD, there are several decisions to be made about life after high school. In Marshall County, two special education teachers hosted an event Tuesday night to help parents create that plan.

Lawanda Mitchell and Paula Kaylor, two special education teachers at Albertville High School, say many of their student’s parents don’t know where to start when it comes to planning for life after high school. They say it’s a statewide issue that parents are struggling with — knowing what’s available to them.

The event, called Stepping Stones, was designed for parents of exceptional students in the county, seventh grade and up, to learn about the importance of starting the processes early.

Several representatives from a number of community agencies were in attendance to explain what they offer, and how parents can get started.

The presentations covered information about SSI benefits, employment, college opportunities, and more.

Both Mitchell and Kaylor hope parents will walk away with a better understanding of what’s out there that they can take advantage of.

“We just wanted to share this with our parents because we want them to be fully involved, and we want them to be fully knowledgeable of what their options are,” said Mitchell.

“This will help our parents get on those waiting lists and do the proper paperwork and be in the right channels because everything (with the state) — there’s a process, and it’s usually a lengthy one,” added Kaylor. 

Albertville City School System Board of Education member John Gladden says his son is a part of Auburn University’s Eagles Program – a program for students with intellectual disabilities. He tells News 19 that his son is in his sophomore year!

“Every special needs child, for the most part as far as I understand, they have IEPs – which are individualized educational programs. You have to tailor (or specifically what we did) is tailored his IEP to what the Auburn Eagles Program was looking to accomplish. He’ll be advancing into what they call they Advanced Eagles Program. Ultimately, his goal is to be an assistant show choir teacher,” replied Gladden. 

Mitchell and Kaylor hope Stepping Stones will become an annual event.

The pair has a Facebook page with all the information that was discussed Tuesday night, as well as contact information for the different agencies in attendance.