Secondary Transition

Preparing Students with ASD for Success

Transition planning for students with ASD is critical in improving outcomes for life after high school. Test et al. (2020) discussed the complexity and range of abilities of individuals with ASD, and the importance of preparing for transition during their high school experience. They go on to indicate the need for continued research and point out that individualization and the use of existing best practice interventions is essential for improving overall outcomes.

The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition-The Collaborative (NTACT-C) describes transition planning as a foundational basis of education versus an add-on activity. The NTACT-C Taxonomy of Transition 2.0 (Kohler, et al., 2016) uses current literature to define key components of post-school success by increasing graduation and reducing dropout rates, enhancing school climate, and vocational rehabilitation services fostering successful transition programming to college and careers. The Taxonomy centers on 5 key areas: student-focused planning, interagency collaboration, family engagement, and program structure. In addition, the NTACT-C has defined the predictors of post-school success with research supporting the quality of the transition program as being a predictor of post-school outcomes. There are 23 total predictors of post-school success (Test et al., 2009; Mazzotti, et al., 2021) included in this list impacting outcomes in the education, employment, and independent living domains.

The US Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) published a revised edition (2020) of A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities which supported many of the components of the NTACT-C Taxonomy for Transition, including quality transition planning, programming, and services; student-centered planning and student empowerment; training and preparation for life after high school, interagency collaboration and coordination, and preparation for adult and independent living.

START designed this transition training using these transition frameworks as a model. START’s five components of secondary transition planning include Education, Transition Services, and the IEP; Planning for Competitive Integrated Employment; Interagency Coordination and Collaboration; Student Empowerment; and Independent Living. Information is integrated from these respected sources while being mindful of the unique needs of autism where appropriate and considers family engagement throughout all components. 

The following training will define each component and provide resources and related learning opportunities in a variety of formats. These include downloadable print materials, online activities including curriculums and learning modules, videos, webinars, and others.

Full Overview of Components

Table of Contents

  • Person Centered Planning
  • Higher Level Education
  • Family Engagement
  • Education-Transition Services & IEP Resources

Intended audience: educators working with students in transition planning, vocational rehabilitation counselors, families of a young adult involved in transition planning, and the student who is transitioning.


Table of Contents

  • Competitive Integrated Employment
  • Employment Strategies
  • Family Engagement
  • Employment-Secondary Transition Resources

Intended Audience: the educational team: student, family, educators, agency representation


Table of Contents

  • Person-Centered Planning
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • IEP Team/Transition Coordinator
  • Community Mental Health (CMH)
  • Family Engagement
  • Interagency Communication and Collaboration Resources

Intended Audience: professionals as well as families for a better understanding of the key stakeholders in the transition planning process. There are many resources in this component that families may find helpful in coordinating their transition aged young adult’s employment preparation, health care, guardianship, and more. 


Table of Contents

  • Supported Decision Making
  • Maintaining High Expectations
  • Person-Centered Planning
  • Informed Decision-Making
  • Social Emotional Needs
  • Family Engagement
  • Empowering Students Resources

Intended audience: Educators working with students in transition planning, vocational rehabilitation counselors, families, and others interested in learning more in this key component area.


Table of Contents

  • Living Arrangements
  • Health Care
  • Community
  • Recreation
  • Family Engagement
  • Independent Living Resources

Intended Audience: families, individuals, and professionals


Transforming Transition Together (T3)

Upcoming T3 Trainings:

2023-2024 Training Schedule

2023-2024 T3 Training Materials

November 27, 2023 - Project SEARCH 101 – What is this Transition to Work Program?

2022-2023 T3 Training Materials

Page last modified May 13, 2024