Graduation from school is associated with the greatest social disruption. The end of formal education, the end of the structured schedule provided by school attendance, and the rising expectation for work and independent living place increasing stress on the young person at this time. Increasing levels of education predict better a chance of labor force participation and higher level of income (18). Thus, making post-secondary education a key goal for the young person with rheumatic disease is important to his or her future success in the marketplace. Yet people with physical disabilities and other health impairments have lower graduation rates than those without impairments. Scal et al. found that graduation rates in the United States declined based on severity of condition: among the general population of adults aged 18 to 30 years old, 82.6% graduated from high school, and, for those even with mild disabilities, the graduation rate fell to 79.5% (19). Awareness of laws that that outline important educational practices in secondary school can foster successful adult outcomes for students with special health care needs. In the United States, these include the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the School to Work Opportunities Act, and the Workforce Investment Act.
Was this article helpful?