Transition Youth and Employment

Core Principle 3

Early dialogue with individuals and families is critical to ensuring employment outcomes

Discussions of the future can be overwhelming for both families and teams. However, meaningful conversations concerning future life must begin early in order to prepare. For example, some children with ASD may need intensive supports that are met through specialized services and autism specific programs, yet families envision their future as part of an inclusive community. Some individuals with ASD may resist change and are frequently challenged with life transitions, yet desire a future that includes community employment. In these situations, early awareness and meaningful dialogue about the future can support realistic planning, reduce anxiety, and identify necessary supports for community employment and membership following the school years.

Implications for transition teams:

  • Preschool and elementary staff can begin sharing information with families and messaging the importance of meaningful transition planning for the future.

  • Use previously identified successful supports and strategies as the student ages into the adolescent and adult years. Refine and modify the supports to be age and environmentally appropriate for the workplace rather than discontinuing the use and risking the success of the youth as he/she transitions to new environments.

  • Dialogue about the value of extending life outside of autism-specific environments. Explore how to widen the youth's membership to his/her adult community. Begin early, no later than age 14, to provide the youth authentic community experiences and learn to use supports and strategies in these new adult environments.


Charting the LifeCourse Framework

Charting the LifeCourse was created by families to help individuals and families of all abilities and ages to develop a vision for a good life, think about what they need to know and do, identify how to find or develop supports, and discover what it takes to live the lives they want to live.


Make it Happen: Encouraging Self-Determination in Pre-Adolescent Children.

Written by William and Mary School of Education, Making it Happen: Encouraging Self-Determination in Pre-Adolescent Children by Dale Pennell, C.A.S., Elaine Gould, M.Ed. provides a chart of examples for how children can develop strategies for Self- Determined Behaviors.


My Life Book: Future Planning for People with Developmental Disabilities

This book and DVD offers families and student support groups a variety of activities to create a better understanding of the skills the student will need after high school graduation.

Available through the Lending Library at OCALI.