A major concern for many families with students who have had brain surgery for epilepsy is how to prepare for independent living, especially when schools and transition programs are closed (or limited) for in-person instruction due to COVID-19. Here are some  resources to help develop your teen or young adult develop independent living skills during school closures.

There are many activities you can do at home, from researching future life options to practicing these practical skills.

  1. Start with a simple assessment you can do online at home, like this Independent Living Postsecondary Goal IEP Form or the Casey Life Skills tool to assess behaviors and competencies youth need to achieve their long-term goals. 
  2. Begin to develop Student Portfolios and Notebooks or a Positive Personal Profile (PPP)
  3. Think about how your young adult will be successful in accessing agency or community resources and services; cooking and domestic skills; budgeting and financial literacy; community participation; social skills; and also what supports or training they may need.

Skills to work on:


Don’t forget self determination an essential skill for successful transition into adulthood. Research has consistently shown the correlation between early self determination and improved post-school outcomes. Students who are involved in setting their own goals are more likely to achieve them.

Check out:

Independent Living Transitional Programs

There are many out there, these are just a few ideas:

For students with visual impairments there is a long list of programs for qualifying students located here (such as College Success @ Perkins, a nine-month residential program for blind and visually impaired high school graduates who are college-bound, as well as students who have attended college and are looking to hone their blindness and academic skills to return to college better prepared; and Perkins’ Pre-Employment Program, which helps students with visual impairments acquire job skills specific to their chosen career path).

Did You Know? Homonymous hemianopia qualifies an individual as statutorily or “legally” blind under the Social Security Act. And many states prohibit driving with homonymous hemianopia. Check out your state’s vision driving restrictions here: State Driving Restrictions, Eye Wiki from the American Academy of Opthalmology.

Residential Living Options

Now is a good time to start to research residential living options (there are many out there, these are just a few ideas!):

For additional information on transition to independent living, please view the following resources:

About the author

Audrey Vernick is the Director of Patient and Family Advocacy for The Brain Recovery Project. She is the parent of a child who had hemispherectomy for seizures caused by stroke and holds a level 2 certification in Special Education Advocacy Training from the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates.