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Transitions: IEP to Work Pt 2.

Updated on July 20, 2015
RM Nash profile image

R.M. Nash MA CMHC, primarily writes articles related to mental health, education and relationships. Founder of Creating New Pathways LLC.

The Role of Special Education Transitional Specialist

The number one pre-request for a transition specialist is that they truly care for those they serve. Transition specialist must be able to be flexible and resourceful. They must be comfortable working in the community, in various settings. They must be able to present the transition program and student in a positive manner that inspires an employer or other community member to hire /mentor/internship to clients (student).

The student education must have the flexibility to address the social skills support groups individual instruction and/or structured classes. Many students particularly those with EE emotional or behavioral disabilities work better in nontraditional settings. The job development and placement with support include explore career interest to identify possible placements three develop relationships with the employer three and analyze job setting for consider necessary job supports five implement phases of job support.

Job placement and support model of transition programs assist student with the job placement. The support model has five distinct areas the first is appropriate placement, second is take into consideration any social profile of a client. Third, what are the job requirements? Fourth, employer variable: things that an employer might change. Example: One employer may offer it’s supportive with enthusiasm and detail. The other may want the transition team to put more time and effort in to the student/job placement, including be there all day at job with the student.

The students right to privacy first. The appropriate placement must be consistent with the stated career interest, understanding that this will change overtime (Performed legally by state or federal guidelines). The work must fit into the student school and life schedule and personality traits. The placement for a student also has to take into consideration mode of transportation: Own car, someone drive them, bike, walk, public transportation. Does the student know how to use public transportation? Can and does the student get driver license?

The antisocial profile this is looking at whether a student has a history of avoiding peers, of being argumentative, of getting into fights, not showing up to school leaving school when they get frustrated. Are they involvement with the Police Department issues? Is the student not getting along with family etc.? The right to privacy the student in may allow the employer to know the student is coming from a school or agency with a learning disability a physical disability or emotional disability. However, they don’t have a right to know all the specifics of program transition specialists can give an overview of the clientele that they serve the cannot give personal information particularly if a student and/or family has specifically stated that they don’t want the information shared.

The vocational phase system includes a learning phase, responsibility phase, transition phase, dependencies and employable phase.

In the learning phase, the transition team, IEP team, parents and other community workers working as part of a collaborative team help the student learned of opportunities, responsibilities and life skills needed in order to live independence.

In the responsibility phase the student begins to interact with the employer and independently follow some of the rules, the transition specialist remains with the student on the jobsite and is responsible for any quality control checks, reminders of behaviors, learning skills and corrections of any mistakes or problems in behavior. Transition phase the student independently follows the rules and maintains quality of work and the transition specialist makes intermittent quality checks. This is a quote from Bullis’s, book: “Independent phase is when the student becomes able to work more independently and the transition specialists only checks in by phone. The rest of the time it’s more of a natural employer employee relationship at the employable phase student is completely employed may be being paid by this point in all training and management positive and negative feedback to the student is directly from the employer.

Regardless of model, students abilities or disabilities, (including: ways to monitor their feelings, how to help self when beginning to become overwhelmed, How to communicate this in positive manner. To learning how to access community support such as medical, mental health other agencies. ) Everything from being able to tell time, to being able to be on time. To being able to cook, clean ,bank ,use public transportation, drive a car, follow directions, behave appropriately without argument fighting; whether a job. The needs of students with mobility, visual and hearing challenges a must also be considered. Access to those with mobile challenges will all need to be taken into account.

When looking at a job placement, we also need to consider does the student have any previous experience in the work world or not. Will the job require physical or mental exertion? How much will it be taxing on the student’s emotions, ability concentrated and focus? Is it an environment where there’s a lot of stimulation that may or may not increase difficulty with individuals with processing speeds behavior, issues anxiety issues and/or attention difficulties. Does the of the student have other challenges in which to consider; for example is the potential employment site accessible to those who need walking devices or wheelchairs service animals are they able to move around move around in a safe manner in which to assist.

In analyzing an appropriate workplace for student or client are there any specific skills that the client will need to learn for example if they’re working in a retail will they need to be working with the public will the excess be stocking inventory will they be using the cash register with a be using computers.

Will the client need assistance getting to the job if they’re going to take a bus to see how to use the bug to do now to read the bus schedule? Does the public transportation or other availability of assistance getting to the top placement schedule?

For the client request a new placement conversation as to what it is they would like to change what it is they would like to see from new placement should be discussed. Additionally as you go through the process should be goals in place short-term and longer-term. For example a student with an emotional disability or behavior disabilities ability requested a change from a position, to requesting longer hour’s and /or better pay.

First goal might be to set goals on appropriate behavior in the workplace and in school such as in a tone of voice verbiage not being explosive not throwing things whatever the negative behavior might be sitting or corrective goals. Then proceeding to choose a number of goal for example the student will six out of 10 times shown appropriate behavior and when this goal is meant then a particular reward that’s agreed-upon could be achieved was a student is able to show eight out of 10 times of appropriate behavior for say to three weeks, then the student would be able to be considered for a job with more hours and more income. All of this of course is in conjunction with being sure the student continues to progress in meaningful way in the academic arena.


________________________will learn to set the alarm clock at night before bed.

________________________will learn to get self-up in the morning with the alarm

_______________ will develop a morning routine that lets, get ready for work/school each day in an unrushed manner.

__________________will follow this routine seven out of seven days a week. (Consistency, especially for individuals with anxiety, transition, and processing conditions …helps to lessen stress…)

___________when planning write out steps to help remember things like accounting for time to get ready, time it takes to get to a place, traffic, weather. To help be on time.

___________________will be to school or work on time seven out of ten times to begin with. Building to nine out of ten times.

____________will learn how to cook a nutritious meal at least 1 time per day to start. Within one month build to all meals.

____________interested in computer gaming. ________will brainstorm with transition team ways could use this interest and skills in a career /job setting. Team assist ___________with making a plan and finding placement.


Transition Coalition: Transition ED/BD

Americans with Disabilities Act New England ADA Center

Disability Rights Manchester New Hampshire

All About Test and Assessments: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions: Wrights Law

All About IEP’s: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About IEP Wrights Law

Special Education Law second edtion Wrights Law

From Emotions to Advocacy second edition Wrights Law

Dual Disorders Daley and Moss

Assessments and interventions with Children and Adolescents Vernon and Clemente

NLV: Non-verbal learning or Asperger’s

At Risk Youth

Parent Information Center Concord New Hampshire

Integrating Therapy into The Classroom McWilliams, Scotts 2001

National Center on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice 2009

Recognizing and Treating Depression in Children and Adolescents American Journal Health Systems


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