Transition Points

Early Intervention to Preschool

For children with suspected or diagnosed disabilities who are turning three soon, parents must approach the school district in which they reside to ask for an evaluation. When a child has an active IFSP through the local Early Intervention county services, the Service Coordinator will take the lead in arranging for this “hand-off” of services from Early Intervention to Preschool services. If the child is not actively involved in Early Intervention with an IFSP, then the parents/guardians must request an evaluation in writing to the local school district. Parents would need to contact the Special Education director/office of their local district to make this formal written request and/or to seek further information.

Incoming preschool children are typically evaluated by the local school district’s preschool team of professionals through the process of an MFE, or multi-factored evaluation. The school psychologist usually leads this process and will inform parents of what documents are required as well as how the process will proceed. For children who are visually impaired or blind, a Teacher for the Visually Impaired (TVI), would need to be brought in to be a part of this evaluation. Sometimes, a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist (COMS) is also brought in to evaluate the child for the need for Orientation &Mobility services as well. After the evaluation is completed, the school psychologist will schedule meetings with the parents to discuss the evaluation results and proceed with developing an IEP (Individualized Education Program) or “Section 504 Plan” depending on the needs of the child at that time. 

For more information: Preparing Your Child for Preschool and Toddlers' Transition to Independence

Preschool to Kindergarten

The transition from preschool to kindergarten may involve a building change and longer day. Additionally, formal reading and writing instruction begins. The link below gives suggestions on what to do prior to the first day of school and tips for the first few weeks. It is important to have good communication with your child’s teacher and maintain regular routines throughout the school year. 

Elementary to Middle School

This is a significant transition as a new building will be involved along with an increase in the number of subjects and teachers. Greater time management and organizational skills will be expected. The link provided above has suggestions from meeting school staff before the first day, walking your child’s schedule, involving your child in the school shopping, and learning about extra curricular activities. 

Middle School to High School

The transition from middle school to high school generally involves a building change and heightened independence and responsibility on the part of the student. Organization, social skills and self care expectations may be higher.

High School to Employment

For any child with an IEP, school districts are required to address “transition” to adulthood beginning at age 14 as part of the IEP process. Typically, this component of the IEP includes 3 areas: post secondary education & training, employment and independent living and will have a goal and activities for each area listed in the document. Very often, this is the opportunity to have the school team and parents begin to think about what happens next and include experiences and activities in the child’s daily life activities that complement the goals.

For ages 14 – 16, the transition plan may address ways to help the student become more self sufficient, practice self advocacy and begin to explore career or employment options. 

For 16 to graduation, the transition plan typically includes application to adult service agencies, volunteer or summer employment options, college investigation and application (if appropriate), and likely specifies type of curriculum to be followed during remaining high school years.

For more transition tips for parents, click here.

Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired

For more information on teens and gaining employment, click here.

High School to College

For any student with an IEP, school districts are required to address “transition” to adulthood beginning at age 14 as part of the IEP process. Typically, this component of the IEP includes 3 areas: post secondary education & training, employment and independent living and will have a goal and activities listed in the document. Very often, this is the opportunity to have the school team and parents begin to think about what happens next and include in the child’s daily life activities that complement the goals.

For students who plan to attend college, the search for the right school, a realistic major, and necessary post secondary supports should begin early in grade 11. Adult agencies, such as Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities/Bureau of Services for Visually Impaired, should be included in planning. Interview with college or university offices of disability services is critical to insuring that a chosen school will be able to provide needed supports and accommodations.

Additional Information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

For more information on School Age children, click here