Ages 16 & 17

Transition Planning


  • Be sure your child’s IEP addresses all the areas where skills  are needed to make the biggest difference in your child’s ultimate independence.
  • First job experience ought to be considered if your child is not already working.
  • Think about how your child will participate in IEP meetings in a meaningful way.
  • Develop a transition portfolio of your child’s interests, activities and daily experiences to help them create their vision and support active participation in their IEP development.
  • Encourage self-determination and self-advocacy skills.
  • Continue to have transition assessments done to determine preferences, interests and abilities.
  • Encourage independence in all areas of life such as self-care activities, money management, and travel in the community.
  • Talk about the value of work. Teach and support behaviors that develop employment potential.
  • Help your child to think about and envision his/her future.
  • Attend transition-related workshops, fairs, conferences, seminars, webinars, etc.
  • Encourage relationships and nurture friendships.
  • Explore volunteering, paid work experience, and connections to community-based activities.
  • Develop a long-term plan (5 year) to cover educational, vocational, community experiences, and independent living skills.
  • Find out what a 688 referral is.
  • If your child is expecting to meet all graduation requirements at the age of 18 and terminate special education services ensure that a 688 referral is made if they are in need of continued services as an adult.
  • If your child leaves school before age 22, make sure all transition goals are met.
  • Apply for services from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). Every school in Massachusetts has an MRC Counselor assigned who can help with career and vocational development.
  • If you are planning to apply for Social Security Insurance (SSI), get information about eligibility. Students who have assets exceeding $2,000 are not eligible for SSI benefits. Consult an attorney or financial planner about a special needs trust or other arrangement that will protect eligibility for benefits. Check the availability of the ABLE Act. ABLE allows individuals to save up to $100,000 and does not affect benefits.
  • Investigate the need for guardianship and other options for legal protection. Guardianship is a legal procedure requiring a clinical evaluation and a petition to the probate court. Not all individuals need to have a guardian, and less intrusive alternatives may be preferable. These include power of attorney, health care proxy, conservatorship, and supported decision making.
  • Investigate Adult Family Care ( AFC); a MassHealth Program that provides a taxfree stipend to caregivers (including family members), as long as assistance is provided with daily care and you are not a legal guardian.
  • Have interest surveys and vocational assessments done to determine interests and abilities. 

Transition Timeline (Arc Mass)

Comments are closed.