Transition plans are a part of IEPs that focus on preparing a student for after high school.
In June 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report concerning a review of transition planning for certain students with autism. The CDC reported that less than 50% of the transition plan had goals related to independent living.
While not all transition plans require independent living goals, if your student has needs in this area, those goals should be included in the plan.
With that in mind, it makes sense to ensure that your child has a good transition plan. You should make sure your transition plan includes:
1. Student involvement: If the transition plan does not include the student's input or fails to consider their interests, goals, and aspirations, it may be insufficient. A strong transition plan should empower the student to take an active role in their own future and reflect their individual needs and preferences.
2. Adequate assessment of strengths and needs: An effective transition plan should be based on a comprehensive assessment of the student's strengths, needs, abilities, and interests. If the student has needs related to independent living after high school, the transition plan should include goals related to that area in addition to the employment and education goals.
3. Consideration of post-school outcomes: A weak transition plan may not adequately address the student's post-school goals and desired outcomes. It should focus on the student's transition to adult life, including areas such as further education, vocational training, employment, independent living, and community engagement.
4. Collaboration with other agencies: A good transition plan could require inviting outside agencies to the IEP meeting to see what benefits may be available after your child graduates from high school. This could include vocational rehabilitation and other state agencies.
Here is the link to the CDC report in Pediatrics: https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article-abstract/doi/10.1542/peds.2022-060199/191813/Individualized-Education-Programs-and-Transition?redirectedFrom=fulltext specifically did not address the quality of the transition plans reviewed.
Assessing a transition plan requires a comprehensive review of the plan along with consideration of the individual student's needs and goals. If you have concerns about a student's transition plan, please contact a special education attorney.