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Life After School for Special Needs Students

ROGERS, AR -- Having a student head off to college can be a scary reality for any parent, but when your child has special needs it is an even bigger step.
ROGERS, AR -- Having a student head off to college can be a scary reality for any parent, but when your child has special needs it is an even bigger step.

"Our parents have expressed to us that they don't really know what's out there... There are some wonderful resources, it's just a matter of getting that information out there and helping the parents access what they need... There is a future for them, they can reach their dreams, they can have jobs, a place to live, a career... There is no end to what they can do," said Linda McMillan, a special education student at Rogers High School.

Helping special needs students transition is a passion for McMillan. On Thursday night, Rogers High School hosted an event for families addressing everything from financing to living assistance to possible paths, from the Marines to beauty school to college.

"We found out my daughter had autism when she was 5 and a half... When you get the diagnosis, it can be overwhelming, but just sit back and don't let that be a barrier," said Jennifer Castle.

Her daughter Ravin is graduating this year, heading to college and plans to become a veterinarian.

"She's very capable and we've worked very hard with her and the teachers have supported her a lot."

The goal is to help every student become a productive, self-sufficient member of the community. The hope is to see them achieve their dreams.

"What do we need to do to make sure that everything is in place, that we've taught them everything we can, when they graduate, they will take what we've learned and move on with that... If we can help anyone at all, it would just be a blessing to us."

While planning your child's next move after high school graduation, check out these valuable resources: Life Styles, Open Avenues, Pathfinder, Richardson Industries and Sources.

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