Transition Planning Timelines for Grades 8 – 12

I am to the point with my son where we are starting to focus on transitioning. I don’t know how far we will get, but time surely has all the answers. I have been struggling trying to figure out what he wants to do after high school. I am not even sure he really knows. I tried setting up different electives that he picked but then it just kind fizzled out on the interest. It’s been rather frustrating at times. I know I have mentioned a few times about the conferences at  Yippie. One of the things I found very handy was a Transition Planning Timeline. This has give me a new focus on how and what to put emphasis on. This can start as early as Grades 8 – 9.  The hand out I did receive I found to be very helpful. Most of you following my blog know that my son has autism and a cognitive disability. So this is something we are slowly starting to work on.

Grades 8 – 9

  • Continue to learn basic academics (reading, math & writing)
  • Develop self-determination and self advocacy skills
  • Discover and identify interests, passions, and abilities
  • Learn about your disability and its impact on your learning
  • Explore employment options (volunteering, job shadowing, and career exploration)
  • Be an active participant in the IEP Process – this does not apply to homeschoolers
  • Complete a 4, 5, or 6 year plan for high school;
  • Consider college prep classes if appropriate

This I found to be helpful is some of the questions to consider.

  • What do I do well?
  • What do I like to do?
  • What do I want to do after high school?
  • What do I do for fun?
  • What do I need help with and who can help me?

This is for parents to think about.

  • What are my son/daughter’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests?
  • Do I help develop self-advocacy and self – determination by providing opportunities to make decisions and choices at home?
  • Do I help my son or daughter develop goals for education, employment, and independent living?

Grades 9 – 10 

  • Continue to build on academic skills
  • Continue to develop self-advocacy skills (be able to describe your disability and your needs)
  • Learn more about how your interests and goals relate to your disability and your job/career goals
  • Learn more about your disability and begin to express needed learning supports
  • Volunteer in your community and/or begin looking for a part time job
  • Become more active participant in your IEP – this does not apply to homeschoolers
  • Begin a career portfolio (resume, letters of reference, copies of job applications)
  • Participate in a functional vocational evaluation

This I found to be helpful. These are some questions to consider.

  • What are my dreams for my future?
  • What accommodations for my disability do I need in school, at home, or on the job, and can I describe them?
  • Where do I want to live after high school?

This if for parents to think about.

  • What do I know about guardianship and adult rights and responsibilities?
  • Where will my son/daughter live after high school?
  • How will I support my son/daughter in finding and keeping a job?

Grade 11

  • Continue career exploration based upon areas of interest and abilities
  • Take college admissions tests for 2 – 4 year colleges, if appropriate
  • Begin to understand adult rights and responsibilities
  • Contact Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) 4 semesters before graduation
  • Begin to investigate and visit adult service agencies
  • Continue exercising self-adcovacy skills
  • Develop Strategies for transportation (drivers license, independent travel skills, public or para transit, with or without an attendant)

This I found helpful. These are some questions to consider.

  • How will I deal with my transportation issues?
  • What have I learned about the required training to achieve my career/job goals?
  • What caring adults do I know that may act as mentors for me in the school and community?

This if for parents to think about.

  • Have I resolved the issue of guardianship?
  • Do I encourage positive talk about the future (jobs, family, and housing)?
  • What do I anticipate my son/daughter’s living arrangements will be?

Grade 12 

  • Finalize post high school goals for employment, vocational training, and housing
  • Apply to a technical school, or 2 – 4 year college
  • Consider staying in a school through age 21 to gain additional work experiences and complete educational objectives
  • at 17 years & 6 months, to get information, determine eligibility and , if appropriate, apply for services, contact your local ADRC. ( This is for help to apply for SSI, you can apply straight through the SSI site)
  • Update and maintain career portfolio
  • Complete final IEP addressing graduation and life after high school – this doesn’t apply to homeschool
  • Participate in school sponsored work activity or in paid community based work programs
  • At 18, contact Social Security for adult disability determination. (It’s actually the first day of the month in your birth month)

This I found helpful. These are some questions to consider.

  • How much money will I need after high school?
  • What do I see myself doing immediately after completing high school?
  • How will I manage my health needs?

Questions for parents to think about.

  • What do I know about adult service agencies?
  • What supports (people, accommodations, technology) will my son/daughter need in order to succeed in work or post secondary education?

So far what I have been doing is trying to pick my sons brain about his interests. That has been hard because like I said before I don’t think even he know what he wants to do. It keeps changing. Once a week we are going to focus on some sort of self advocacy. We actually have a book to work through that was given to us at the conference, with many different learning scenarios. I personally am trying to get my son to start thinking and doing things on his own. So far we have gotten laundry down. Once we move and if we get the house we are looking at, he will have his own bathroom. He will then learn how to clean it himself. We are slowly learning to cook different items that he wants to learn. He does realize he has autism. He really doesn’t like people knowing it. So this is something we will have to work through. I am trying to get him to identify when he needs to use his note program on his phone or iPad when he has group. I want him to be able to tell them. I have trouble writing and need to use my note program. They will allow it. We want him to be the one to say it. So we are slowly promoting him in knowing the things he needs to accommodate him in both school and community. We don’t have an IEP as it doesn’t apply to us. However, I am going to set up a list of goals and work on them. I focus the most on math and reading. Writing is his weakest. At the moment I am trying to find out a writing curriculum that will help him to blossom. One day a week he gets to write a story that he wants. So I am actually looking forward to see how this will turn out. So as you can see we are still work in progress. I know now I am on the right track with him.

One thing thing we are going to do to help him with his goals. We are going to make a picture based inventory, actually more like a poster board with things that he sees in his future. Like what kind of house does he want to live in , furniture, job, school, etc. I think it will be something great for him to look at to see if it does give him insight and assist him in transition planning.

I hope this information can help you. It has really helped me start planning. I hope that me explaining where I am at with my son can help someone else in the process.






8 Responses to “Transition Planning Timelines for Grades 8 – 12”

  • 1

    I am terrible at planning. And yet I love to plan. I think my struggles with being and staying organized have been passed on to my oldest to so I do appreciate this post. Mine is 11 but we are starting to focus on goals; planing what we want for the future. Even if its just a short time in the future. Never hurts to have goals. And thankfully in home education we can make them and remake them … 🙂

    admin Reply:

    Your absolutely right. It doesn’t hurt to have goals. In fact even thinking about it at that age is a great thing. I wish I would have started a little earlier but I really had no idea what I was doing with transition until only recently. I wish I knew what I know now back then.

  • 2

    Dropping in from the Crew~
    You are really working hard to help your student succeed. I love this- the plan, the questions for evaluation, it is all great. Way to go mama.
    Meghan Wright´s last blog post ..Charlie The Tramp {a children’s book review}

    admin Reply:

    Thank you. I was determined to make all this happen since our neuropsych didn’t think I could teach him transition. Does she have another thing coming 🙂

  • 3

    GAH.. I wish you had an image with this post so I could save it to pinterest for later on… Good stuff for me to start thinking on..
    annette @ A net in Time´s last blog post ..Do not Forget the Lord God

    admin Reply:

    I will try to come up with an image for this post. I had no idea what to even use for a picture. I almost wanted to take a picture of me pulling my hair out because that is how I felt before I came across this.

  • 4
    Kym says:

    Looks like a good plan, with lots of practical helps along the way! What a great resource for parents bringing up kids with some challenges, to be able to define their goals. It’s always a good idea to learn practical life skills too!

    admin Reply:

    I can tell you I feel a bit more relaxed after this plan. Much easier to focus on what we need to. Really this could be used with any child special needs or not.

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