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As an individual prepares for his/her transition from school to adult life, putting a plan into place will assist in a seamless and successful transition.  While a child can receive educational services through age 21, a transition plan should be discussed by age 14.

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When Should Planning for Transition out of School into Adult Life Occur?

A transition IEP’s main focus is to develop a plan to help the student move from high school to adult life. Caregivers should be discussing transition with school and therapeutic supports around the age of 14 years (in Indiana) and the student should be included in IEP meetings by this point. Caregivers should begin seeking a lawyer to assist with guardianship (if needed) and trust/estate planning around this time. Guardianship should be filed on the child’s 18th birthday.

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What Considerations Should be Made when Choosing Post-secondary Education or Employment Options?

  • What does the individual want?
  • What are the individual’s cognitive abilities?
  • What are the individual’s physical abilities?
  • What will allow the individual to be most successful and/or independent?

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How Can I Help Prepare my Child with ASD for College or Other Post-secondary Education?

Whether in middle or high school, if an IDEA-eligible student is planning to attend college, there are a number of critical steps to be taken to become college-ready. Early in the transition process, a student is encouraged to:

  • Take interesting and challenging courses that prepare him or her for college;
  • Be involved in school or community-based activities that allow him or her to explore career interests, including work-based learning or internship opportunities;
  • Meet with school guidance counselors to discuss career goals, such as vocational and educational goals, programs of study, college requirements, including the admissions process and any standardized tests required for admission; and
  • Be an active participant during the IEP meetings.

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Additional Resources


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