Work makes life better. If you, as a parent, make work part of your child’s plan now, your child will be much more likely to work as an adult.

Talk about work with your child and your child’s entire support network, including your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team, guidance counselors, teachers, mentors, case managers, family members, and friends. They all need to know that work is in your child’s future.

Together, you can be a team with a shared vision, so you are all exploring options, developing skills, and looking for job opportunities for your child.

Set a goal: paid work

Having a job early is one of the best ways to build future employment success. It could be a part-time weekend gig or a summer job. Any job where your child is making minimum wage or better is a good start.

A job offers real work experience and employers are especially patient with young employees; they know that a first job is how a young person learns what work is all about.

If anybody says that your child can’t or shouldn’t work, show them DB101’s article Work is Possible.