Transition planning, in Texas, needs to start before the state required 16-year-old IEP meeting. Yes, in Texas, at age 16, students qualify for transition planning as part of their IEP meetings. During the IEP Transitional ARD, the student and his team build a vision for the student’s future. Strengths, weaknesses, and desires need to be reviewed and specific goals/services identified to work toward a future scenario. I recommend parents start exploring transition services and options at age fourteen.
A Transitional ARD Meeting should coordinated a set of activities. This action should focus on improving academic and functional skills that will impact a student’s life after age eighteen. This plan then drives the student’s movement from high school to post high-school activities. This road map may include college, vocational training, continuing/adult education, employment, adult support services, independent living or community living services.
Parents of students with only 504 educational support need to ask for guidance as a 504 student’s educational plan does not automatically included transitional planning.
Parents need to research and understand transitional planning as their child is leaving middle school and entering high school. As a child prepares for high school, courses are assigned to lead a child toward an educational goal. Students and parents need to be aware that specific courses and modifications may be needed to obtain that coveted road of continued education. If college is a possible reality, then the difference in college vs high school support systems need to be explored. A plan put in place to assure the child’s senior year will emulate college modifications and student planning vs high school modifications with parent driven planning and service coordination.
In Texas the graduation requirements for students with disabilities are outlined in the provisions of Texas Administration Code (TAC) §89.1070.
The following are areas to be explored during transitional planning:
Assessment specific strengths, weakness, interests and preference.
Related Support Services (options post high school)
Instructional Modifications (Differences in high school vs college requirements)
Community experiences especially those that lead to volunteer work, or recreational connections targeting adults age 18+.
Connecting with community agencies targeting young adults
Employment possibilities and scenarios with emphasis on how a child can work and receive disability benefits
Daily living skills including problem solving and time management
Financial support and disability benefits
Want to learn more about transitional services in Texas. I have found some great resources.