A newsletter by the ASD Network
NE ASD Network 14th Annual Conference 
March 30th and 31st 2017 
Younes Conference Center in Kearney Nebraska

Registration Now Open!  Click to Register

Transition Planning 
by Sonja Peetz M.S.Ed,

Transition planning is not only the right thing to do it is a Federal mandate.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004)  mandates specific documentation of transition planning and services in the Individual Education Program (IEP) for students with disabilities ages 16 and older. (The mandated age for transition planning and services is younger than 16 in many states.) The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) collects data from every state education agency regarding compliance with these mandates annually through the States' Annual Performance Report for Part B - specifically Indicator 13 in Transition services.
Quality Transition planning can be achieved by following a three-step process.  The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition defines each of these steps as follows-
Step 1- Assessment: A process of collecting data from informal or formal assessments of students strengths, needs, preferences and Interests over time from multiple stakeholders regarding (a} academic skills, (b) career interests and aptitudes, (c) self-determination skills and opportunities, and (d) independent living skills.  These data can be collected in a portfolio format and follow a student throughout his/her career-facilitating multiple transitions.
Step 2- Post Secondary Goals: These goals focus on Training, Education, Employment and Independent Living.  These measureable goals are based on the transition assessment data and knowledge of postsecondary options and the input of the entire educational planning team.  This includes the student.
Step 3- Instruction and Services:  Identification of Transition Services or Activities (including courses of study) that will prepare the student for their identified postsecondary goals.  Identification of annual instructional goals {IEP Goals} that will support the transition services or completion of the courses of study to prepare the student to achieve their identified postsecondary goals.  Involvement of additional agencies or stakeholders who can assist in facilitating the successful transition from high school to postsecondary environments.  Again, students are central to the decisions made regarding needed services of activities, including course completion or career development activities in school or out of school that will facilitate achievement of their postsecondary goals. A good friend of mine once stated to her student, "nothing about you without you".
The student is the main player in each phase of the process. The IEP team and others contribute to the transition assessment process.  This may include family, general and special education professional familiar with the student, related service providers (e.g., behavioral interventionist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech-language pathologist), other school personnel  (school counselor), community service providers (e.g., employment specialist, vocational rehabilitation counselor), representatives of postsecondary environments (e.g., disability services coordinator, vocational rehabilitation counselor), or any other individual significant to transition from the school to post-school environment. All of these individuals may not always be involved in the IEP meeting, but might be included in the process of collecting information in preparation for the IEP meeting to discuss transition. Additionally, while most States do not require that transition be discussed in the IEP meeting until ages 14, 15, or 16 (the federal mandate is age 16), it is permissible for this to be discussed at any age.

Nebraska Transition Resources from the Nebraska Department of

Secondary Transition Resources from the Department of Education in Colorado
Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit where you can find resources for your state and download an general transition guide.

1st Tri-State Webinar: Targeting Skills for Adult Independence  
7th Webinar:  Preparing Students with High Functioning Autism for Competitive Employment
8th Tri-State Webinar: Transition Planning for Competent Adulthood
8th/9th 2 Day Toolkit for the Educational Evaluation of ASD at ESU # 13
10th  Play is Not as Easy as it Looks:  Teaching Joint Attention and Object Based Play to Young Children with ASD at ESU # 6
15th Tri-State Webinar: The Central Importance of Sexual Education ASD
22nd Tri-State Webinar:Person Centered Planning for the Future
23rd-25th 3 Day:  "Step Away"... Stress Management in the Face of Power Struggles at ESU #7
24th Why Does He/She Do that?  Behavior Intervention for Students with ASD at ESU # 3
24th  Teaching Functional Skills to Middle and High School Students with Significant Needs at ESU # 10
Increasing Self-Management Skills in Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
By Ashley Meyer, M. Ed.

What is Self Management?
Self-management is a set of procedur es that students can be taught to apply to their own behaviors to change them (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). Self-management systems can be used to increase desired behaviors and/or decrease interfering behaviors of individuals with ASDs by teaching them how to: (a) monitor their own behavior, (b) record their performance, and (c) obtain reinforcement when their performance meets a pre-established behavior criterion (Busick & Neitzel, 2009). Before implementing a self-management system, be sure the student can perform the designated task. If there is a skill deficit, that skill needs to be taught before expecting the student to perform it independently and self-manage (Schulze, 2016). Self-monitoring is the most commonly used self-management intervention with students with ASD and has been used to improve on-task behavior, task engagement, academic productivity, and various social behaviors, such as social initiations (Carr et al., 2014). Self-monitoring has two basic parts: 1) self-observation, and 2) self-recording (Schulze, 2016). Learning to self-regulate is a developmental process that can be learned over time through direct instruction and practice opportunities (Hampshire, Butera, & Bellini, 2016). In teaching the student to use the self-management system, we need to model how to observe the specific behavior and how to record data. " Learners need to be taught how to record at the appropriate time and to do so accurately. An effective strategy to teach appropriate and accurate recording is for teachers to model examples of correct and incorrect behavior for the learner [...] and then assist the learner (via prompting) to record whether the modeled behavior they observed was an example of correct or incorrect behavior" (Busick & Neitzel, 2009). We need to reinforce students for self-managing and fade our prompts as quickly as possible in order to reduce the chances of prompt dependency or learned helplessness (Hampshire, Butera, & Bellini, 2016).
Implications for Practice
There is an increase in students with ASD being educated within the general education classroom setting. Teaching students how to self-manage their own behaviors will help decrease the time and energy general education teachers, para educators, and parents take to ensure students with ASD are on-task and fully participating (Schulze, 2016).
Steps to Teach
(1) Prepare the specific system to be implemented
(2) Teach the learner to use the system
(3) Implement the system with adult support
(4) Promote learner independence with the system
"Self-management is a set of procedures with a strong evidence base that can promote skill development and independence in these students, especially given the nature of the deficits that students with ASD often grapple with, such as problems with organization, sustained attention, and task persistence. Implementation of self-management procedures is advantageous to both general educators and special educators as well in that it lessens the amount of time and effort necessary to directly manage student behavior (Schulze, 2016)". It may take a little more effort in the beginning of teaching a new self-management system, but with the increase in independence, on-task behaviors, task completion with increased accuracy, and decreased instances of problematic behaviors, the effort pays off in a substantially decreased need for individual adult supervision. Teaching students to use self-management systems such as self-monitoring data sheets can have a very positive impact on all students, especially with the increased number of students with ASD in
Autism Internet Modules. Retrieved January 21, 2017, from http://www.autisminternetmodules.org/
Busick, M., & Neitzel, J. (2009). Self-management: Steps for implementation. Chapel Hill, NC: National Professional Development Center on         Autism Spectrum Disorders, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, The University of North Carolina.
Carr, M.E., Moore, D.W., Anderson, A. (2014). Self-management interventions on students with autism: A meta-analysis of single-subject            research. Exceptional Children, 81, 28-44.
Cooper, J.O., Heron, T.E., Heward, W.L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill-Prentice Hall.
Hampshire, P.K., Butera, G.D., & Bellini, S. (2016). Self Management and Parents as Interventionists to Improve Homework Independence in Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders, Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 60:1, 22-34, DOI:      10.1080/1045988X.2014.954515
Schulze, M.A., Teaching Exceptional Children (2016). Self-Management Strategies to Support Students with ASD, 48:5, 225-231, DOI:                  10.1177/0040059916640759

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