Develop a transition plan

Set clear goals that can be tracked

Transition plans that set clear goals and monitor progress are most helpful. Plan when and how key skills will be taught, and how acquisition of these skills will be tracked.

Providing clear detail will be helpful. For example, if teaching a specific social skill, determine how often, how long for, and using what approach (role play; video modelling).

Refer to strategies identified by an allied health professional where relevant.

Clearly plan how progress will be monitored. For example, how often will progress be checked, and how will progress be measured.

Tailor the transition plan to the student’s strengths, goals, and abilities

A transition plan should be tailored to map out numerous options to reach target goals. These options may vary in timing, prerequisite skills, and levels of support. 

This collaborative planning may need to consider; academic pathways and curriculum choices, independent skills, living skills, transportation, self-advocacy, communication etc.

Transition plans that incorporate structure and predictability are more likely to be successful. 

A structured and predictable environment will result in faster acquisition of key skills, whether that be at school, with a health professional, or in a work experience setting. 

Similarly, many students with disability benefit from visual material when learning. Considering how visual prompts such as videos for specific skills or settings (models what happens in a lecture theatre; how to engage in positive customer service), photographs, visual schedules or other visual material can be incorporated into the transition preparation.

Use evidence-based practices

Consider using evidence-based approaches to inclusion and learning that are a good fit for the student’s strengths and abilities. 

Some students may need to practise a skill related to transition in different settings or with different material. Some may need tasks broken down into smaller steps, such as a job application process broken into smaller tasks. 

Some students may respond well to role plays, visual prompts, or video modelling. 

Consider what works well for the student’s learning in other contexts, and access our hub’s evidence-based strategies for inclusion of students with disability.

Provide positive support

Transitioning out of high school can be stressful for all students, and is likely to be even more stressful for students with disability. 

A positive attitude, clear and practised pathway, and consistent encouragement may help students if they are dealing with frustrations, disappointments, or anxiety about upcoming changes.

Identify overall goals

In early stages of high school these may focus more on developing a range of broad skills, and providing a range of experiences so that a student can identify potential career goals. 

In later stages of high school, goals may focus more on a specific pathway and what skills and curriculum or subject choices can be built on to achieve that pathway.