Self-Determination

Visit Transition to Adulthood for more resources on the transition process. 

What does self-determination mean?

Self-determination means making your own choices, learning to solve problems, and taking control and responsibility for your own life.  People who are self-determined make things happen in their own lives. They know what they want and how to get it. They choose and set goals, then work to reach them. They advocate on their own behalf, and are involved in solving problems and making decisions about their lives. 

Self-determination is important for everyone, regardless of the complexity of the of disability.

How does this fit into the IEP transition plan?

Self-determination is a set of skills can be taught as IEP goals.

What about attending IEP meetings?

All students are capable of bringing knowledge and perspective to an IEP meeting. Students who participate in their own IEP meetings often know more about their disability, rights, goals and accommodations. By participating, they can practice skills that will help facilitate their independence, their ability to overcome obstacles, and their ability to lead more self-determined lives.

How do I support this at home?

Parents can help develop skills like choice making, goal setting, self-advocacy, and self-management.

Self-determination and adult services in Michigan

The Michigan Mental Health Code establishes the right for all individuals to have their Individual Plan of Service developed through a person-centered planning process.

Self-determination and Person Centered Planning

Person-centered planning (PCP) is a central element of self-determination.  The purpose of person-centered planning is to provide a process for an individual to define the life that they want and what components need to be in place for the individual to have, work toward and achieve that life.

Self Determination Resources

  1. Be Your Own Best Advocate PACER
  2.  I’m Determined– a resource to help build self-determination skills in students
  3. It’s My Choice Workbook Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities
  4. Possibilities video series presents a vision of how individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families can lead the lives that they envision, without barriers and in the direction they truly wish to go
  5. Partners Advancing Self-Determination a new project in Michigan, more details coming in 2018.

Self-Determination–  from the Michigan Alliance for Families Webinar Series

More resources: