Career Readiness 101: Tips for Elementary Students with Cerebral Palsy

By Jim Hasse, ABC, GCDF, Disability Employment Expert

Career Book 1 is career readiness 101 for coaching your elementary school student with a some-day meaningful job in mind. It's available as an eBook and as a paperback.

Cover of Career Book 1 showing 4 elementary school students in graduation cap and cowns -- one with crutches.

Career Book 1: Confidence booster

Here's why you need to read this career readiness 101 book of elementary school strategies. It shows how leveraging disability worked for me in the mainstream job market (even though I walked and talked with difficulty due to CP) and how preparation for my career started in elementary school. 

For me, this book's 17 career-readiness strategies were a confidence boosters throughout my school years.

 In this quick read (about 40 minutes), you get:

  • Expert advice
  • Potential pathways
  • Mainstream orientation

Now is the time to help your elementary school student with CP begin to think about how to tap disability's edge in tomorrow's job market.

The steps you take today will help your youngster gain insight for effectively managing his or her career as an adult.

Strategies for mentoring your elementary student

During the 1980s, I didn’t have an opportunity to tell my mom about what I had learned about developing a career as an individual with CP.

Here are Career Book 1's time-tested strategies which now, decades later, may help you coach your youngster while in elementary school.

Growing in Self-confidence

Strategy 1 – Learn What It Means to Work
Strategy 2 - Nurture Self-esteem

Strategy 3 - Address Fear
Strategy 4 - Manage Motivation

Strategy 5 - Value Patience
Strategy 6 - Use Visual Learning
Strategy 7 - Learn Virtual Team-building Skills
Strategy 8 - Start Career Planning Now
Strategy 9 - Foster Seven Career Development Skills

Discovering Disability’s Competitive Edge

Strategy 10 - Lay the Foundation for Career Development
Strategy 11 - Teach Teamwork Skills
Strategy 12 - Show How to Set and Achieve Goals
Strategy 13 - Take Small Steps to Achieve a Goal

Strategy 14 - Develop Problem-solving Ability
Strategy 15 - Ride Only One Horse
Strategy 16 - Explore the World of Work
Strategy 17 - Reach for Three Developmental Milestones

Series of Career Books: Get all 5

Each of these five Career Books takes about 40 minutes to read.

Each illustrates and summarizes the essential career development strategies to follow for your youngster’s age group – all based on the road map recommended by National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) and my experience as a Global Career Development Facilitator and as a person with cerebral palsy and mainstream work experience.

Get all five Career Books.

Excerpt from strategy 2

... You can empower your youngster by providing a home life (or frequent place to visit, if your situation is not home-based) which is, in itself, a career builder. It’s a career builder because it fosters self-esteem development -- a place where managing your personal feelings is the norm.

In such an environment, individuals relate to one another at a high level of consciousness, self-acceptance (and acceptance of others), self-responsibility, self-assertiveness (and respect for the assertiveness of others), purposefulness, and personal integrity.

That type of gathering place offers your youngster an opportunity to develop, even at an early age, a healthy sense of self-esteem. To do so, however, such an environment needs to offer your youngster an opportunity to:

  • Feel safe, secure in the knowing that he or she will not be ridiculed, demeaned, humiliated or punished for openness and honesty or admitting, " I made a mistake…" or “I feel down right now…”

  • Feel accepted and treated with courtesy; that means being listened to, invited to express thoughts and feelings, and being dealt with as an individual whose dignity is important.

  • Feel challenge by learning new things which excite, inspire, test and stretch both ability and imagination.

  • Feel recognized, acknowledged for personal talents and achievements which are based on reality instead of paternalism.

  • Receive constructive, unfettered feedback as a means for improving performance in non-demeaning ways that stress positives instead of negatives and that concentrate on building up personal strengths.

  • See that innovation can be exciting, and, as a result, personal opinions are solicited and valued.

  • Gain easy access to information and resources about careers and about what makes work valuable and personally rewarding both from an abstract and general standpoint as well from the perspective of family members and friends.

  • Gain appropriate authority to take initiative, make decisions, and exercise judgment in school matters which involve career development and vocational training.

  • Live under clear-cut and non-contradictory rules and guidelines which provide a structure so he or she knows what the family expects from its each of its members on a day-to-day basis.

  • Feel empowered to solve as many problems as possible on a personal basis instead of passing responsibility for solutions to other family members.

  • See the rewards for success are far greater than any downside for failure so that appropriate risk taking becomes a family norm.

  • Learn and be rewarded for learning that expands knowledge and skills.

  • Experience congruence between values and actions within the family, so, as integrity is exemplified by each member, there is a motivation to match what all family members see in each other.

  • Experience being treated fairly and justly so that the family becomes a rational, trustworthy unit for everyone involved.

  • Perceive that personal work done within the family is genuinely useful and worth doing.

Within that type of family unit ... your elementary-school youngster will learn how to manage his or her feelings in appropriate ways and, in the process, realize a higher sense of self-esteem in terms of effectiveness (“I can do it”) and self-respect (“I’m worthy of happiness”) ...

Rebecca Wilberg's LinkedIn entry recommending my eBooks.

Download Career Book 1 now as an eBook or as a paperback

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This is Creative Commons content.  You can freely and legally use, share and repurpose it for non-commercial purposes only, provided you attach this sentence and the following attribution to it (including the two links):

Originally written and illustrated by Jim Hasse, ABC, GCDF, owner of Hasse Communication Counseling, LLC, who, as a person with cerebral palsy, served for 10 years as a vice president in a Fortune 500 company during his 29-year career in corporate communication. He’s an Accredited Business Communicator, certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator and author of 14 Amazon books about disability awareness and disability employment issues.