Empowering Students
Maintaining High Expectations

Maintaining high expectations both at school and home is a predictor of improved outcomes after high school. Research demonstrates holding young adults to low expectations is a barrier to career and postsecondary education success. For families, this involves having expectations of taking part in home chores, taking increased responsibility for self care such as making appointments, doing laundry, and leading the conversation at doctor’s appointments. Young adults acquire these skills over time by learning to do more and take on additional responsibility. This is important upon leaving high school, and being more prepared as an independent adult. There are ways to increase expectations including creating a school-wide culture of higher expectations, assuring students can access college and job readiness tools and more rigorous coursework, ensuring specialized instruction that is needed, setting challenging academic goals, and ensuring progress in the general education curriculum (Carter 2014; Report of the Advisory Commission, 2011; USDE, 2020).


OCALI: Competitive, Integrated Employment is the Expectation for All Youth with Disabilities

OCALI: Competitive, Integrated Employment is the Expectation for All Youth with Disabilities: Maintaining high expectations by families, educators, and others interacting with students is extremely important. When we expect success, there is a greater likelihood students will be successful. It is essential to maintain an expectation of competitive integrated employment (CIE) into adulthood and focusing activities on services and supports which promote more productive employment outcomes. While there may be challenges with obtaining and maintaining employment due to characteristics related to ASD such as theory of mind, sensory, and executive function, with accommodations and training individuals with ASD can often develop skills needed to navigate social and job-related requirements. It is important transition teams identify transition assessments which support the needs of individuals with ASD, cultivate strengths and interests which match potential jobs, and educate those supporting individuals with ASD to assure appropriate support and understanding of needs for promoting success.

Related Learning Activities:

  1. Review the Core Principle 1: Competitive, Integrated Employment is the Expectation for all Youth with Disabilities. 
  2. Watch the Ohio Employment First: Changing Expectations video (8:21). 

OCALI: Accessing the Curriculum

OCALI: Access to the Curriculum Students with intensive disabilities have limitless potential. To ensure that all students attain their personal goals, we work toward developing the disposition or attitude in all educators that every student is a valuable, contributing member of the learning community. This first segment introduces individuals with intensive needs and shares their stories. It discusses the unlimited options for their future and promotes the messages of ownership, high expectations, advocacy, and the importance of providing appropriate opportunities to encourage success. 

Related Learning Activities: 

  1. Watch the OCALI: Access to the Curriculum - Part 1 video (44:36). 
  2. Download the Webinar Activities (Tip: copy link to browser if files will not load): objectives, assessment checklist, data collection sheet, self-assessment questions.
  3. Watch the OCALI Webinar on Low Incidence Disabilities - Access to the Curriculum - Part 4 (41:52). Includes students with more significant or complex needs. Great programs challenge barriers and speculation in an effort to build inclusive philosophies, where individuals with and without disabilities learn and work together, so they can learn to live together. This final segment in the series discusses great program features impacting learning and life for students with intense disabilities. 
  4. Write down five takeaways from the video.

ASK Resource Center

ASK Resource Center: ASK is a family-focused nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower individuals with disabilities and their family members by providing innovative and collaborative advocacy, training, resources and supports. Its vision is access, empowerment and acceptance for all.

Related Learning Activities:

  1. Watch the From Disabilities to Possibilities-The Power of High Expectations video (31:09). This video covers the importance of setting and maintaining high expectations, exploring possibilities, using effective advocacy skills, and creating a team commitment. 
  2. Write down five takeaways from the video.

From Disabilities to Possibilities-The Power of High Expectations

Family Engagement

Educators and families maintaining high expectations is essential to improved outcomes for young adults with ASD. Research supports the importance of maintaining high expectations which can cross settings in school, home, and the community. Families may need guidance in this area, and reassurance of having high expectations is necessary for gaining confidence, growing self-advocacy, obtaining employment, and achieving greater independence. 

  1. Pacer Center: Promoting High Expectations for Post-School Success by Family Members: A “To Do” List for Professionals
  2. Pacer Center: Transition Tips for Employment #1 - High Expectations (video) (1:20)
  3. Transition Tennessee/Tennessee Works: Wilson Family - Holding High Expectations (video) (2:59)
  4. START iQuest

Page last modified April 30, 2024