Developing a Master Plan For Your Child's Future

Why A Master Plan?

In Chapter 2, we focused on the MASTER PLAN. If you want your child to grow up to be an independent adult, think about what he/she needs to learn before leaving the public school system,

Typical *Transition Plans through the school district often happen too late (age 14-16). Start building towards that plan now! Modify the plan as the child grows and matures.

Whether a child has special needs or not -- this is one of the most important things a parent can do for their child.

You can do this whether or not you are participating in the FETA cohort study group. We will provide some tools below. 

What is a master plan?

MASTER PLAN is like a strategic plan and generally contains the same types of elements. Many of us follow strategic plans everyday where we work, and we know that we have to in order to be successful in our jobs. Most of us fail to plan in our personal lives. Having a plan with strategies and goals can help our families get to where we want to be in life. Imagine also weaving in long term life plans for your child into your family's master plan. This is different than the status quo, simply going from year to year, thinking about short term annual IEP goals and hoping for the best. 

Wrightslaw refers to the five main components of the master plan:

  3. GOALS
How to fill in your plan:

(1) Vision Statement - visual picture that describes your child in the future (what does your child need to be prepared for “further education, employment and independent living?” (20 U. S. C. 1400(d).) 

Fill in your child's vision statement here:

(2) Mission Statement - a personal statement that describes the reasons you are advocating for your child, reflects your emotional commitment and passion. 

Fill in your child's mission statement here: 

(3) Goals - provide direction and keep you focused, should include academic goals and non-academic goals (e.g., hobbies, interests, sports, fitness, friends, social, family, community). Remember most states have Common Core Standards. Think about putting in standards based goals when appropriate. Reach high!

Fill in your child's goals here:

(4) Strategies - a roadmap for reaching goals. 

Fill in strategies for reaching goals here: 

(5)Timelines - when actions need to be completed and when, commits you to action. 

Fill in timelines for goals here: 

Now think about your child's strengths, hobbies, and interests. Are these incorporated in the plan? 

Do you think that developing a child's strengths and talents is as important as overcoming deficits? All children possess strengths and talents. Think about what you can do to encourage these. 


Franklin Covey has an excellent FREE tool on their website. Use it create your personal and family plans.

Visit: http://www.franklincovey.com/msb/ to check out the Mission Statement Builder. However, you may need to edit the final document to fit the finite details of a plan. It's a great starter tool though!

Include your child in the planning!

If your child is old enough to participate, please include him or her. It should incorporate things that are important to your child. Remember their strengths, talents, and interests, and build upon them!

Get "The Book" of all books!

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - The Special Education Survival Guide, 2nd Edition by Pam Wright and Pete Wright was published in January 2006 (ISBN: 978-1-892320-09-4, 338 pages, perfect bound, $19.95).

Pick up a copy of this book, for more details on the importance of planning for your child's future to set him or her up for success as well as the resources for becoming an effective advocate.

Attend a FETA Group Sacramento Meeting

To attend a FETA Group meeting keep in tune to our Facebook page and this blog. Drop in any time! Or start a meeting in your area! It's easy. For instructions, visit:  http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?p=6300

Contact Angie for more information at corngie | at | gmail | dot | com.

* Read more about Transition Planning: