The Transition from School to Adult Life

Predictors of postschool employment outcomes for young adults with severe disabilities

Examined student, family, and school factors (e.g., paid job while in school, self-care skills, social skills) as predictors of employment during the two years following high school. Results indicated having held a paid, community-based job while still in high school was strongly correlated with post-school employment success. In addition, results indicated being male, having independent self-care skills, higher social skills, more household responsibilities, and higher parent expectations increased odds of employment after school. Recommendations for future research included identifying salient factors (e.g., quality of adult services, local economic conditions) to include in ongoing and future follow-up studies with youth with disabilities. Implications for practice suggested teachers support youth with severe disabilities in attaining community-based work experience while still in high school.

Carter, E. W., Austin, D., & Trainor, A. A. “Predictors of postschool employment outcomes for young adults with severe disabilities.” Journal of Disability Policy Studies 23, no. 1 (2012): 50-63.

Call to Action for the Texas Educator

Consider the findings of this study. Provide direct instruction in self-care and social skills and fade out supports. Help parents hold high expectations and support them in setting up chore activities within the home. If appropriate, promote community-based work experience.

Transition planning for students with intellectual disability, autism, or other disabilities: Data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2

Examined the status of students with intellectual disability, autism, or other disabilities in the transition planning process. Results indicated students with autism or intellectual disability were significantly less likely than students with other disabilities to take a leadership role during the transition planning process. The majority of the active participants in transition planning were school-based personnel (i.e., special education teacher, school counselor, school administrator). Recommendations for future research included examining barriers and facilitators of providing high-quality instruction and opportunities for Individualized Education Program (IEP) and transition planning family involvement. Implications for practice included helping students understand and make progress toward their future goals through individualized instruction that links students’ transition goals to students’ course of study.

Shogren, K. A., & Plotner, A. J. “Transition planning for students with intellectual disability, autism, or other disabilities: Data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2.” Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 50, no. 1 (2012): 16-30.

Call to Action for the Texas Educator

Consider ways to support your students in actively participating in their goals, including daily instructional goals and annual meetings for review of Individualized Education Program goals. Provide instruction on the meaning of the goals. For example, you are learning to … this will help you to… in the future. Provide visuals so that students can see their progress. Find ways for the student to play active roles in goal development.

To learn more about supporting the transition of students to adulthood, consider enrolling in the online self-directed course, Supporting a Successful Transition to Adulthood for Students with Autism. This course is appropriate for supporting students with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities.