May, 2013

Transition to Independent Living: What Happens After High School?

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Individuals with disabilities go through many transitions in their school career as they progress through elementary, middle school and high school. At each stage, teams discuss how to make the transition as smooth as possible. What is expected at the next level?

Will teachers understand his or her needs? How can we make it less stressful?Even more worrisome to some families might be… What happens after high school?

Transition Planning Begins EarlyBeginning in the middle school years, the IEP team plans for adulthood by writing transition goals related to education, work, and independent living. Transition goals are meant to help the team focus on the big picture as they write IEP goals.

Often, however, IEP goals are written to target state assessment objectives or class schedules. This is to be expected because schools are accountable for student learning as measured by assessments and high school credits. There’s one saving grace, though…

If IEP goals, including transition goals, have not been met by the time the student graduates from high school, he or she can receive transition services from the school district.

Transition Services Offered in the Community 

When transition services are offered through community-based instruction, students have more opportunities to apply skills in community settings, which in turn develop independence and confidence. This is a rich time for learning.

For more information, see http://www.ocali.org/project/transition_to_adulthood_guidelines

or this article from Easter Seals: www.easterseals.com/explore-resources/living-with-autism/autism-after-age-21

Smart Steps(TM), LLC (c)2013



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