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Exploring Options


Exploring Options

It’s never too early to ask yourself, What do I want to be when I grow up? Part of the fun in planning for the future is keeping in mind that the sky's the limit. Even with a bleeding disorder, you have a vast amount of options!

This section of Next Step will help you identify your strengths and give you information to help you achieve your goals. It will cover:

Discovering Your Strengths and Interests

There are so many career options out there. It may seem overwhelming to imagine where you will end up in the years to come. It may be helpful to ask yourself some personal questions. The answers can help you discover what you're good at and what you like to do best—and help you set goals. Share these answers with your parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and coaches. You may be able to work your interests into your Individualized Education Program (IEP). When your interests are included in your IEP, your teachers will be able to help you choose classes, activities, support services, and training programs to help you reach your goals. By identifying your core interests, your parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and coaches can lead you in the right direction.

For more information, go to Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Here are some questions you might ask yourself:

  • What activities do I participate in at school?
  • What activities do I enjoy outside of school?
  • What are my biggest strengths and talents?
  • What do I like most about myself?
  • What are my positive personality traits?
  • What activities could I be doing to improve my strengths and talents?
  • What is a significant event that has affected my life?
  • What are my hopes and dreams for the future?
  • What do I want to be when I grow up?
  • What worries do I have about the future?
Try asking these questions again in a few months. You might be surprised at how your interests have changed or become more focused.
For a printout of these questions, go to Discovering Your Strengths and Interests.

Staying Healthy Today for Tomorrow

Always keep in mind that your future good health depends on staying healthy today. By making healthy choices now, you’ll have more choices tomorrow. One result: you’ll be able to expand your career options. Stick to your regular treatment regimen, and treat bleeds right away. Make sure to go to your annual comprehensive visit at the Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC). Sometimes regular care at an HTC is required to be eligible for scholarships for people with hemophilia and bleeding disorders.

To learn more about healthy choices, go to Maintaining a Healthy Body and Treatment.

Education Options Beyond High School

Now that you're thinking about some exciting career options, what kind of education will you need to be prepared for these possibilities? Will you need an academic college education? Or, will you need to look into a technical school that offers employment preparation skills? Whatever path you decide to take, don’t forget to do the best you can in your current school classes.

Get involved in your Individualized Education Program (IEP) planning so you can take the classes that interest you most. Your IEP and 504 Accommodation Plan will ensure that you get the modifications you need, such as a set of books for both home and school to save you from carrying a heavy backpack, and ample time to make up missed schoolwork in case of a bleed. These modifications will help you stay on track toward your goals.

Opportunities Through Community Activities

Participate in volunteer activities, either within the bleeding disorders community or with other organizations, such as the March of Dimes, the public library, or the animal shelter. You’ll get an opportunity to pick up some work skills, see how many organizations are run, and be able to add your activities to future resumes. Best of all, you'll probably make new friends!

Start Saving

Colleges can be expensive, but if you start planning and saving early it may help with the costs.

Here are some tips for middle and high school students:

  • Start learning about different financial aid programs and scholarships from school counselors.
    • Check out some of the special scholarships for individuals with bleeding disorders or other chronic conditions, as well as scholarships for individuals with special talents, such as art or music.
  • Attend financial planning or how to pay for college workshops with your parents or guardian.
    • Many schools and communities offer these programs.
  • If you get a part-time job, you can save money now and keep saving.
    • Saving a little at a time can make a big difference later.
  • Visit colleges and talk with their financial aid departments and with other students about how they are paying for school.