Texas Parent to Parent

Pathways: Transition in Public School

Funded by:
Texas Department of State Health Services’ Children with Special Health Care Needs Program Contract, Federal Maternal Child Health Bureau Family to Family Health Information Center Grant, and private donations

In IDEA, `transition services' means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that facilitates the child's movement from school to post-school activities. Remember that public school may be your best chance to get your youth ready for life after graduation, so learn to use these school years to the utmost for transition.

Here are a few ideas for getting the most out of your child's transition years in public school:

  • Transition should be addressed in your child's IEP by age 14.
  • Goals should be based on the student's interests, needs and preferences,
  • Be sure your student attends IEP meetings in the secondary school years and ask that your student become engaged in the ARD process.
  • Request a planning process outside the ARD meeting.
  • Learn about your district's transition services, options, and key transition staff.
  • Know when your child will graduate (between ages 18 to 22).
  • School staff focuses on 1 year spans; your job is to remind staff of long-term goals.
  • Ask about every decision: will it help my child live a better life after graduation? If the answer is no, keep talking!
  • Help your child be ready to talk about the future with the IEP team—be creative about how to share interests and preferences.
  • Leave public school with an up-to-date evaluation or Summary of Performance (SOP)

Here is an article on using public school for transition: Using School Years for Transition.

Here are 2 brief overviews of transition law and helpful tips, created by the Education Service Center, Region 13:

Here are two outstanding websites that help you learn about transition planning and goals under IDEA:

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