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After High School

Even if your child is not thinking about what to do after high school, you should start thinking about it early. Starting early will help prepare your child for this next big step.

As your child grows and learns new things about the world of work and meets more people, she may change her mind about what she wants to do when she grows up. This is normal. It really helps to start preparing early for this important move toward becoming an independent person. By planning for this during the high school years, you are letting your teenager know that you EXPECT her to go to college or to get a job.

What does your child want to do?
Talk with your child about what she wants to do after high school. Start when she's a freshman in high school (or even sooner).

Talk with your child about what she's interested in. Someone who's interested in cars may work in a body shop fixing cars. Someone who likes working with children may become a teacher.

Your child may want to think about these questions:

  • What school subjects does I like best? What subjects do I like least?
  • What hobbies do I have? What am I good at?
  • Does I like working with other people? Or would I rather work by myself?
  • Do I have any work experience? ("Work experience" could be any part-time work, babysitting or volunteering.)

To get help in answering these questions, your child could talk to:

Looking at different jobs
Once your child has looked at what she likes to do, she should look at what jobs match what she likes to do. She could try these places:

Deaf pilots, Deaf ministers, Deaf doctors...
Don't let anyone tell you or your child that there are jobs she can't do. With a little help, your child can do anything! Have your child check out this website: Achieving Goals: Career Stories of Individuals who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Learn more about picking a career path
Your child should try Gates to Adventure. It's a fun online game that will help your child think through her choices after high school.

Read these sections to learn about different things your child could do after high school:

College
Read this section if your child wants to go to college after high school.

Vocational School
Read these pages if your child wants to go to a technical school.

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National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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