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Oklahoma school gears special education toward life after high school

EDMOND — Life after high school has taken years of family planning for Sahara Dodd. 

Sahara, a freshman at Deer Creek High School, has Down syndrome and difficulty verbalizing. Her mother, Monique Dodd, said the family has long considered Sahara’s educational options — likely a vocational school — and potential job opportunities she could pursue.  

The question for the Dodd family isn’t whether Sahara will build job skills, but rather which ones. 

From left to right David Dodd, Sahara Dodd and Monique Dodd pose for a photograph after signing a beam at the Transition Center at Deer Creek High School, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021.

“I think one of the most important things that people need to remember about our children is that they’re teachable,” Dodd said. “They’re able to do just as any average student could do, and sometimes they’re better at it than the average student.  

“She will be among the public and learn to contribute just like other members of society.” 

The transition from high school to adult life is central to Deer Creek’s special education program, and the district says it has invested in this initiative in a way few school systems have. 

https://www.oklahoman.com/story/news/education/2022/01/03/oklahoma-school-gears-special-education-toward-life-after-high-school/6499632001/