what is post secondary transition for an individual with autism spectrum disorder

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What is post-secondary transition? What do you think are some of the greatest difficulties for an individual with ASD who is making this transition? Why is it so important for school personnel to help students with ASD in post-school transitions?

Respond to student discussion: According to Holtz, Owings, Ziegert and the Organizaion for Autism Research (2006), post-secondary transition is the “process that uncovers, develops, and documents the skills, challenges, goals, and tasks that will be important as a student moves from school to adulthood.” The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) also regulates how transition services are coordinated to ensure they follow set guidelines for productive planning no later than the age of 16 (Holz, et al., 2006). Students with ASD can often struggle even more with a transition from the school environment, which has more structure and familiarity, to a post-secondary setting that holds many unknowns and changes to their established routines. There are many outside agencies that will interact with students as they leave the school setting, but the teacher usually has a longer history and more interactions with the student, which gives them more insight into their needs when moving from the school setting to a community setting. There are also many ways to provide stronger transitioning skills, if there is a well-established plan prior to their departure from school services. When transition plans are in place, the school team can spend time preparing the student for success after high school.


Holtz, K. D., Owings, N. M., Ziegert, A. K., & Organization for Autism Research. (2006). Life Journey through Autism: A Guide for Transition to Adulthood. Organization for Autism Research. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=ED508625&site=eds-live&scope=site

2. Secondary Transition is the process of preparing students for adult life after they leave high school” (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network, 2018). A primary concern for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a deficiency in social skills. Individuals with ASD struggle with holding conversations, eye contact, or displaying interest in what the other person is talking about.

“Consequently, these behaviors these behaviors not only isolate the student with autism but mark the student for failure in vocational efforts” (Wehman, Datlow-Smith, & Schall, 2009). It is vitally important to help students with ASD in post-school transitions achieve their goals, hopes and dreams in their lives. People with ASD want to be contributing members of their community. They wish to attain a job, build a career, and have a family. “ It is critical, therefore, that transition programs for students with autism focus on social skills, problem solving, and coping” (Wehman et al., 2009).


PATTAN: Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (2018). What is secondary transition? Retrieved from


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