A newsletter by the ASD Network

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Starting the Transition Process
Sonja Peetz, MS.Ed
NE Regional ASD Network Coordinator
            You can't lead a student in the way they should go if you do not know where they are going.  Transition is the plan or the path of the students' goals, dreams and vision for themselves.  The process starts with collecting information about the student, or "assessing" the student and collecting data.  The Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) of the Council for Exceptional Children defines transition assessment as an "...ongoing process of collecting data on the individual's needs, preferences, and interests as they relate to the demands of current and future working, educational, living, and personal and social environments. Assessment data serve as the common thread in the transition process and form the basis for defining goals and services to be included in the Individualized Education Program (IEP)" (Sitlington, Neubert, & LeConte, 1997; p. 70-71). Federal law requires "appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills" (ยง300.320[b][1]).
            The goal of transition assessment is to assist students, families, and professionals as they make transition-planning decisions for student success in postsecondary environments (Sitlington & Clark, 2007; Sitlington & Payne). Sitlington and Clark suggest that transition assessment should answer three basic questions:
1   Where is the student presently?
2   Where is the student going?
3   How does the student get there? 
            Why Conduct Transition Assessments? Transition assessments may be given for several reasons. These reasons include: (a) to develop postsecondary goals, and related transition services and annual goals and objectives for the transition component of the IEP), (b) to make instructional programming decisions, and (c) to include information in the present level of performance related to a student's interests, preferences, and needs in the IEP. Transition assessment is an excellent way to learn about your individual students, especially their strengths outside of academics and career ambitions (Kortering, Sitlington, & Braziel, 2010).
            Preparing For the Future with Adult Service Providers. The school will have certain information to share with the provider, including the most recent Individualized Education Plan (IEP), Summary of Performance (SOP) etc., but this may not give the complete picture of the individual that is necessary to get adult services off to a good start. The purpose of the "Stepping into the Future" packet is to provide practical information regarding the young adult that can be used by the adult agency provider as the individual prepares to enter adult services.
           While the document is not meant to replace valuable school information, it should be considered a valuable addition of information sharing. Topics of sharing are: Identifying Information, Medical Information and Social/Behavioral Information.  While this brief five-page checklist is not all-inclusive, it gives information to adult service providers that a school may not think to have included on the IEP.  To access and download a PDF version of this document please visit:
http://ndetransition.site.esu9.org/technical-assistance-tools and click on the word "STEPS" August 2012.
The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) www.nsttac.org provides resources to guide practice that are developed from the best available evidence of effectiveness. 
For the OAR Guide for Transition to Adulthood, visit  www.researchautism.org.
For the OCALI Transition To Adulthood Guidelines visit  http://www.ocali.org/project/transition_to_adulthood_guidelines .
Since the transition process is different in each state, Autism Speaks has created Transition Tool Kits with timelines, as well as state agency information that may be helpful to you throughout the process.  To see your States' information, please follow this link and scroll to the bottom of the page-  www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/transition-tool-kit.
Kortering, L., Sitlington, P. & Braziel, P. (2010). Age appropriate transition assessment as a strategic intervention to help keep youths with emotional or behavioral disorders in school. In D. Cheney (Ed.) Transition of Students with Emotional or Behavior Disorders: Current approaches for positive outcomes (2nd Edition). Arlington, VA: Council for Children with Behavior Disorders and Division on Career Development and Transition.
Sitlington, P.L, Neubert, D.A., Begun, W.H., Lombard, R.C., & Lecconte, P.J. (2007). Assess for success: A practitioner's handbook on transition assessment (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Sitlington, P. L., Neubert, D. A., & Leconte, P. J. (1997). Transition assessment: The position of the Division on Career Development and Transition. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 20, 69-79.


All webinars are offered two times on the day scheduled:
3:00-3:45 pm and 4:30-5:15 pm

Four Part Series: Programming for Middle and High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (final three sessions)
  • Developing Routines and Independence Using Task Analysis (Presented by Sonja Chatfield-Peetz, M.S.Ed.) March 2
  • Developing and Implementing Age-Appropriate Visual Supports for School and Community Environments (Presented by Karine Gleason) March 9
  • Developing and Implementing Visual Supports for Social, Communication and Behavioral Skills (Presented by Kate Loving, M.S.Ed., BCBA) April 6
Four Part Series: Autism and Early Childhood
  • Joint Engagement and Joint Attention Strategies (Preented by Katie Wells, M.S.Ed.) April 13
  • Preparing for Purposeful Play (Presented by Lori Chambers, M.S., CCC-SLP) April 20
  • Teaching Object Based Play (Presented by Teri McGill, M.S.Ed.) April 27 
  • Incorporating Play into the Natural Environment (Presented by Lindy McDaniel, M.S.Ed.) April 28

Tips from the Corner:
Prompting Towards Independence
Pam Sharping, M.S.Ed., BCBA
Multiple errors increase the frustration levels of students.  Think about an activity you struggle with and consider how motivated you are to complete the task.  I shudder at the thought of completing another math class as I practiced many errors over the years.  Response Prompting Procedures is an antecedent strategy that increases the probability of correct responding while minimizing errors. 
Response prompting is sometimes called "errorless" learning, as these instructional procedures result in fewer errors for the learner. When fewer errors occur, the learner has increased opportunities for reinforcement, and consequently, reduced frustration. The goal of response prompting is to use the least intrusive prompts needed to teach the skill, and then fade out the prompts systematically until the learner is independent. Fading response prompts is the procedure used to transfer stimulus control from the prompts to the natural stimulus (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007).  Within educational research, several response prompt procedures referenced are: (a) Most-to-least prompting, (b) least-to-most prompting, (c) progressive and constant time delay, and (d) simultaneous prompting.  We will cover two types of response prompts that use prompting hierarchies; these include most-to-least prompts and least-to-most prompts.
Most to Least Prompting (MTL):  Uses a high level of support (prompting) when teaching a new skill, and then systematically fades towards less restrictive prompts as the learner masters the skill.    
Least to Most Prompting (LTM):  This is the opposite of MTL prompting.  The teacher gives the participant an opportunity to perform the response with the least amount of assistance on each trial and moves to the next prompt in the hierarchy if the student performs an incorrect response. 
From Modules Addressing Special Education and Teacher Education (MAST)

Consider the following when using MTL or LTM response prompts:
  1. What to teach? Identify the behavior/target skill.  You can use MTL and LTM prompting when teaching discrete (e.g., short, single responses) and chained behaviors (e.g., a series of behavior that make up a complex skill).  A task analysis will be required for chained behaviors such as hand washing. 
  2. When to teach?  MTL and LTM can be used several ways throughout the day.  The first is naturally occurring events, such as, the child uses the restroom and instruction for hand washing occurs within the natural schedule.  Next, the instructor sets up classroom materials (e.g., art supplies) within the environment as the cue/signal to begin the target skill. Finally, the instructor could provide task direction (e.g., verbal or picture) to indicate to begin the target skill.
  3. Decide which prompts to use within the prompt hierarchy.  When using LTM, you must have a minimum of 3 levels.  The prompt hierarchy must include (1) a cue/signal, (2) an intermediate prompt (e.g. gesture, verbal, visual, physical, etc.), and (3) a controlling prompt (e.g., full physical assistance).  The maximum recommended levels within a prompt hierarchy is five, as the learner may lose attention or become frustrated making multiple errors on one task step.  An attached resource defining each level within a prompt hierarchy is provided (Owens, 2005).
  4. Which prompting strategy should I use? Recommended guidelines include (Libby, Weiss, Bancroft, Ahearn, 2008)
    • Individualized to the learner.
    • MTL is preferable if errors have been found to impede a child's learning or to increase problem behavior.
    • MTL is preferable when a child's learning history is unknown.
    • LTM may be preferable for students who make fewer errors and show rapid acquisition when using LTM.
    • LTM may be preferable to those who do not like to be touched and benefit from modeling over full physical prompts.
    • Consider the task being taught, for example, the learner may readily answer questions with LTM but require MTL when learning to button a shirt.  

     5.  Tips when teaching using MTL and LTM: 

    • Gain attention prior to delivering the cue.
    • Wait for the learner to respond if using LTM.
    • Allow 3-5 seconds of response time between prompt levels.   
    • Respond to correct responses with reinforcement.
    • Respond to incorrect responses by moving up the prompt hierarchy.
    • Avoid repeating the same prompt more than once.  For example, don't give 4 gestural prompts on the same teaching step.  Instead, give one gestural prompt if the student doesn't respond, move to the prompt level (e.g., partial physical prompt). 
    • Avoid overusing verbal prompts.  After giving one verbal prompt, silently move to the next prompt level in the hierarchy.  Too much talking can confuse and frustrate the learner.  Also, verbal prompts are difficult to fade and dependency on the instructor can occur with over usage of verbal prompts.
Cooper J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis (2nded).  Upper 
Saddle River, NJ: Person Education, Inc.
Libby, M. E., Weiss, J. S., Bancroft, S., & Ahearn, W. H. (2008). A comparison of most-to-least
and least-to-most prompting on the acquisition of solitary play skills. Behavior Analysis 
in Practice , 1, 37-43.
Modules Addressing Special Education and Teacher Education (MAST). (2010).
Retrieved from  http://MAST.ECU.EDU
Neitzel, J., & Wolery, M. (2009). Steps for implementation: Least-to-most prompts. Chapel Hill,
NC: National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, The University of North Carolina.
Owens, M. (2005). Instructional Strategies Prompting Hierarchies.   Retrieved from

2016 NE ASD Network State Autism Conference April 7th and 8th 
Registration is Almost Full!
Click Here to Register
ASD Network| 402-472-4194| awragge2@unl.edu| www.unl.edu/asdnetwork/

The contents of this newsletter were developed under a grant from the Nebraska Department of Education, IDEA parts B and C from the U.S. Department of Education. However, this content does not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

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