Transitional Services


For a long time, there has been a very big concern on the lack of success in the adult life for students with various disabilities. According to researches, it is evident that a large percentage of the disabled students under special education programs do not proceed for further training and sometimes do not receive the required pre-school support. As these children get out of the education system, their parents or guardians feel that they are being dropped into a void. While there are various services that are present in the outside community, the involved parents or families are left to their own means and devices. These parents' finds out about these services and support by chance. The affected students and parents gets confronted with very complex service options and resources characterized by unique forms, services, roles, eligibility requirements and funding resources. Therefore, the need for collaborative and an accessible system becomes an obvious choice for these people. The important thing that seems to be missing is the bridge between the students' school system and the post school life services. As a result, the transitional plan and services concept is ideal in providing these special needs students with a proper structured path to their adulthood. This essay describes the transition program and services that support assessment plan.

Transition program and services

Transition program involve the process of enhancing the students' post school adjustments especially the students with disabilities. The post school adjustments includes the adjustments to leisure, independent functioning in the community and work. Transition can also be defined as the change of status from being a student to assuming various emergent adult roles. The transition services can be defined as a set of activities for students that enhance successive movement from school to post school activities such as vocational training, community participation, adult services, employment and post secondary education based on the students' preferences, interests and needs (Transition plan). A transition plan team may include the disabled students themselves, vocational coordinators, job coaches, friends, relatives, adult services representatives and other personnel who will be helpful (Transition plan).

Although it is challenging for the secondary programs to appropriately organize the planning teams to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning processes, some researchers have recommended the application of the collaborative teams to make plans for the educational programs for the student who have developmental disabilities. The approach allows the involved team members to develop a shared understanding and knowledge of the needs and learning characteristics of the students, become familiar with the effective instructional support for students and become aware of the post school goals of the students and their IEP plan content. In addition to the development of the student's IEP plan, the collaborative teams also design, implement and evaluate the instructions (McDonnel, J & Hardman, L., 2009).  There is also need to develop core and extended planning teams which comprises of various individuals who are directly involved in the daily service delivery to the students. The extended team may involve the student, parents, special education teachers, related service staff, the general education teacher and the school district representatives. The major responsibilities of the extended teams include the development, implementation and evaluation of the transition plan (Obiakor, E. F & Bakken, P. J., 2008).

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How to conduct the future planning

It is required that the IEP plan be based on the disabled students post school goals. In this context, the involved planning teams are required to identify the students' interests, preferences, educational and employment experiences, and various resources that are available to support the students' participation in the community. Some of the tools for carrying out the future planning include Personal Futures Planning, McGill Action Planning System and Big Picture Planning (McDonnel, J & Hardman, L., 2009).

i. Big Picture Planning

This tool involves the student and the most important individuals in his/her life in making the future plans. It can be utilized early in the student's career as it allows the educators or teachers to put into consideration the student's interests, needs and the natural support that is available within the support system.

ii. McGill Action Planning System

This is a person centered process that is used to support an effective transition planning for students with developmental disabilities. It is developed by the individuals who are significant in supporting the transition of the students. The process is usually driven by various questions that direct the focus on personal history and educational experiences of the experiences, preferences, strengths and the support that the students will require in order to become a successive being after school. The information collected through asking these questions is important in the development of an action plan that is significant in the development of the IEP plan (McDonnel, J & Hardman, L., 2009).

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iii. Personal Futures Planning

It was developed in 1988 and it has led to the understanding of today's person centered planning. The process involves various aspects such as the forms of developing personal profiles, the processes of discovering the community is able to offer and the ways through which the disabled students can be empowered to take over their action plans (McDonnel, J & Hardman, L., 2009).

Skills, training and opportunities

During transition period, the transition plan teams may assume roles in the disabled students' educational plans in various ways including the provision of job specific programs, searching and supervising volunteer and paid internships and providing knowledge on the specific program requirements and their significance in the particular student's requirements. The students' parents should take the responsibility of encouraging and informing the transition teams to incorporate the appropriate adult program providers' expertise into the transition plan.

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Usually, the community service programs puts much emphasis on the student/young adult's experiences, abilities and skills relative to school programs and the participation of the young adult is an a usual practice. Due to this, the inclusion of the student in various school based activities and meetings is important in preparing him/her for effective participation in the community during post school time (Korpi, M., 2007).

Communication and collaboration skills

In the development of smooth transitions, there should be effective communication between the students with developmental disabilities and other plan team members. The information sharing and collaborative planning for the students' transition to post-school life can be facilitated by inter-parties communication before and after the transition. This process involves the students' information records including the physical, social, intellectual development levels and proper estimates of their needs (Obiakor, E. F & Bakken, P. J., 2008).


In conclusion, the parents should rise to the occasion and find proper ways of supporting the young adults' self advocacy skills. Living the community as an adult requires the making of decisions in order to effectively advocate for one's self. Therefore, the people with special needs should be given opportunities to develop various important skills that will facilitate their independent living after transitioning from the school system. Finally, all the involved people and teams should protect the young adults from negative attitudes that may lead to the increase of the disability burdens rather that prepare them for appropriate ways of dealing with life.

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