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A Parent's Guide To Transition

What is transition?

Transition is a purposeful, organized and outcome-oriented process designed to help students "at risk" move from school to employment and a quality adult life.

Who provides transition services?

Transition Services are provided through a partnership with school and community agencies.The school district is your first contact for implementing any transition service. Following the development of an Individualized Transition Plan (ITP) you and your child could be involved with other community agencies.

When should I begin thinking about transition for my child?

Transition begins with awareness that your child will one day live and work in the adult community. It is never too early to start thinking about your child's ability to function in the adult world. It is important to work with the schools to identify and foster as much independence and success as possible for your child.

What is my roll?

While your child is in elementary and middle school, work with the teacher to identify skills that you will be able to reinforce at home and which will foster greater independence for you and your child. These efforts should develop and enhance your child's skills in these areas:
  • self-help
  • social
  • fine and gross motor
  • communication

These skills, in addition to self-esteem, are vital to successful participation as a contributing member of society.

What should be in the transition plan?

As a parent, you should be informed of your child's current levels of functioning. If not, sit down with your child's teacher and ask to share assessment information regarding your child's functioning in and outside of the classroom. Also, share any information you believe will assist school staff in educational planning for your child.
Take time to identify what you would like for your child when she or he graduates. Involve your child in this planning and build realistic goals based on their abilities, interests,and desires. Plan for a variety of educational, vocational, and employment experiences, leisure and recreational activities, independent living skills, and transportation/mobility training. Together you, your child, and the school staff will develop an IEP/ITP that meets the needs of everyone involved.
Once your child is 14, a statement of transition service needs and activities must be included in their IEP in the area of instruction. This plan will become part of your child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and will be revised annually.
For 16 years and older, your child's IEP should include statements and activities in the following areas based upon your child's preferences and interests:
  • instruction
  • related services
  • community experiences
  • the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives,and
  • if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.

Remember, to be successful, this process must be a joint effort. As a parent, your participation in the process is critical!

What agencies might be involved?

  • Community College
  • County Mental Health Services
  • Department of Rehabilitation
  • Employment Development Department
  • Medi-Cal
  • Regional Centers
  • Regional Occupational Programs
  • Social Security Administration

There are many other resources available within your community that will enhance the life of your child as he or she moves into adulthood. Your child's school and the Transition Team will assist you with referrals and resources.

Other Diagnostic Center transition resources...