Transition Planning and the IEP


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Meet Robert

Robert is a youth who, like many his age, dreams of being an independent adult. He has strong interests that drive both his career goals and his social life. Robert has many strengths that have been noted as a child. He also struggles with some important skill areas that would be necessary for independence as an adult. Robert identifies his family as his mother, stepfather, grandmother, younger sister, and Aunt Jane, a close friend of the family. Robert was diagnosed as having autism at age 3. He receives specialized instruction and service through an IEP.

Case Studies: Age-Appropriate Transition Assessments (AATA)

As Robert approached middle school, his vision for the future became more focused on his life following high school. Excerpt from vision: “Robert wants to work with cars. He would like to be able to make simple repairs on cars or do some type of work that involves cars. Robert would like to eventually live in an apartment close to people he knows. He feels strongly that being able to go to the movies, shopping and swimming will be important parts of his adult life.” In addition to the vision, Age-Appropriate Transition Assessments (AATA) include the following items that further develop and refine future planning and identify needed transition services:

  • Review current academic and functional skills data and summarize the information in relation to the implications to adult work environments and independent living.

  • Opportunities for Robert to shadow mechanics in several body shops

  • Observations of Robert on the job site performing tasks

  • Employability checklists that focus on global or overarching employability skills

  • Assessment of life skills related to independence

  • Observing Robert’s skills using the bus (transportation assessment)

  • Other formal and informal assessment that lead the team to a better understanding of Robert’s strengths and needs

  • Connect Robert with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities for  Pre- Employment Transition Services (Pre- ETS) specifically Work Based Learning, Workplace Readiness Training or Instruction in Self Advocacy to explore different auto stores sites and gain more hands on experience to his desired career outcome

Future Planning

Robert’s future planning and vision was developed and refined as he neared age 14. “Robert would like to develop his automotive skills to be able to make simple repairs on cars and work at least part-time in a small car shop. Within several years after graduation, he would like to live in an apartment close to people that he knows and can trust. He wants to continue to grow and learn new skills as an adult by taking adult education classes in areas of interest. He also wants to be able to regularly go to the movies, swim year-round and go shopping.”

Postsecondary Goals

Employment: Following graduation from high school, Robert will work part-time in a body shop making car repairs

Education: Following graduation from high school, Robert will take classes at the Eastland adult education program in areas related to his interests, such as small engine repair, locating the right apartment and meal preparation

Independent Living: Immediately following graduation from high school, Robert will live in the family home taking on more responsibilities to prepare for his move to his own apartment

Robert’s goals suggest that his IEP needs to focus on:

  • Working without a job coach being present each day
  • Being able to participate in an adult education class
  • Completing daily living skills such as home safety, cleaning, laundry, nutritional meals, etc.

Course of Study

Overview of postsecondary goals:

“Robert will independently work part-time in a body shop making car repairs, attend adult education classes in the community, and plans to move to his own apartment.”

Course of Study

In order to achieve this adult outcomes, Robert’s course of study from ages 14 to 22 (assuming he is extending graduation) needs to include academic instruction, vocational instruction, and functional living skills.

The IEP team created a schedule that allowed Robert to attend several general education classes and also receive the necessary tutoring or specialized instruction in the core areas. He also attended a life skills class to work on targeted social skills and social competency. Opportunities were identified and facilitated in the general education environments to allow Robert to practice the social competences he was learning. Finally, he attended vocational activities and community work experiences that focused on car repair.

Determine the Extent and Type of Transition Services Needed

Overview of postsecondary goals:

“Robert will independently work part-time in a body shop making car repairs, attend adult education classes in the community, and plans to move to his own apartment.

Team discussion determined that Robert’s transition services should include assessment to determine his current level of skill in the area of auto repair, as well as his ability to transfer his study skills to the adult education environment. He will require instruction in social skills in order to interact effectively with coworkers and customers. Robert also needs to gain understanding of the aspects of adult education that may be different from high school. Although Robert demonstrates some daily living skills, he will need instruction in this area so that he can become independent and competent to achieve his postsecondary goals. Following are some of the specific transition services that the team felt would address these needs.

Transition Services


  • Assistance to access and create an Ohio Means Jobs backpack and to select and navigate through surveys and information about automotive jobs and skills.

  • Vocational assessment to determine current abilities in the area of car repair and related skills

  • Job shadowing/work experience in an auto body shop to assess his ongoing interest and improve skills related to community employment and auto mechanics

  • Specialized instruction in social competency related to interactions with supervisor, coworkers and customers.


  • Instruction in how to identify adult classes, register and travel to the class in a timely manner.

  • Community experience to take an adult education class to become familiar with the location, the pace and structure of the courses and to apply study and social skills.

Independent Living:

  • Daily living skills training by participation in a life skills class.

Adult Service Agencies and Providers

Robert‘s vision is to live independently and work part-time in the community and attend adult education classes. Agencies, organizations or individuals that Robert’s team may consider inviting to the transition planning team include:

  • Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD)

  • Adult educational program in automotives

  • Manager of automotive business

  • Job and Family Services representative

Annual Goals and Adult Outcomes

Robert‘s vision is to live independently and work part-time in the community and attend adult education classes.

Annual IEP goals that may support this vision include:

  • Employment: Robert will work independently for 30 minutes using a visual schedule to complete a job-related task

  • Postsecondary Education: Robert will use a list of identified study strategies to complete homework assignments

  • Independent Living: Given common community living situations, Robert will identify those that are unsafe and how to correct the errors

Considerations for SOP

As Robert exited high school, his Summary of Performance included (but was not limited to) the following information:

  • Robert is able to work 35 minutes on a vocational assignment given a visual checklist of each step. He will need this same type of support in his job and vocational programs

  • While Robert’s ability to complete homework has improved, he still requires reminders from adults in the home to remember to check the assignments and review the quality of his work. Robert should continue work on developing independence in this area. However, until that time, a support person should be identified to help remind/prompt him to check for completion and quality of assignments.

  • Robert is able to identify and correct unsafe community situations such as fire, use of equipment and securing a house or apartment. However, Robert does not always recognize dangerous situations involving people’s intentions (such as people asking for money). He will need continued mentoring in this area.

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