Effective Transition Planning for Students with ASD

Presented by: Nina Finkler, M.Ed., LDT/C, BCBA, president of Nina Finkler Autism Services
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The main purpose of IDEA is “to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to … prepare them for further education, employment and independent living…” In order for the last part to be accomplished, effective transition planning must occur.

While transition planning is one of the most important parts of a student’s education, it is often misunderstood and mishandled. IDEA states that transition planning is required to start at age 14, but the truth is planning and discussion about post-21 should start as early as possible. The earlier the team (school, parent and student) starts discussing transition, the earlier the student’s educational program can incorporate instruction. Many skills will require years to introduce, develop, master and generalize. Waiting too long may limit what a student can achieve during the years of guaranteed entitlement.

The process of transition planning should not fall solely on the school district. Educators can help parents play an active role in planning as well providing opportunities for instruction within the home and community. When having the discussion about transition, there are five critical skill areas that must be considered and included in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP). These areas are:

  • Communication
  • Socialization
  • Behavior Skills
  • Independence
  • Leisure Skills

This webinar focused on these five critical areas and their importance. Nina Finkler shared specific strategies for incorporating these skills into the IEP, classroom, and home. Learn how educators can help parents understand their role in the transition process.