IEP Transition Assessments – 5 Planning Tips

easy to use teacher tools for IEP transition assessments to gather valuable data for special education students
Gather valuable data for special education students for their IEP transition plan.

IEP Transition Assessments for Special Education

IEP transition assessments are an important piece the planning piece for students entering the later part of their educational career.  This informative section helps the student, family, and school staff begin to pinpoint what the student’s life would look like after school.  When I first started working with middle school aged students and writing transition assessments, I was so pumped to help my students peer into their futures.  What could be more exciting than helping our youth prepare to be productive members of society through quality IEP transition assessments and plans?

Two examples of printable transition assessment for special education plans
Transition assessment for special education students is a required component of the IEP transition process.

What is a transition plan in special education?

Students who reach the age of 12 need a transition assessment included in their IEP. This helps begin the plan for the student’s life after high school. This helps the school, the community resources, the family, and the student look at their skills and choices for their life. I really feel like it’s one of the most important special education documents I create. Naturally I was pumped to do my first assessment. I love new IEP tools! Seriously, I do!!!

My excitement faltered quickly when I began reviewing the components of the transition assessment.  The boxes asked me to identify if the student showed evidence for independent living, education and training skills, and employment skills.  Ummm…good question?  How could I document any of that?  So, I did what every smart teacher does.  I went and asked one of the veteran teachers what she did.  With a smile, she handed me a transition binder full of assessments!  I walked away feeling relieved.  In the end, that excitement didn’t last either.

what is a transition plan in special education with examples of two printable assessments for secondary students
Discover the answer to, “What is a transition plan in special education?” with examples of IEP transition assessments.

Special Education Transition Assessments Examples

The binder was full of transition assessments special education, but very few identified the required components.  I was trying to identify skills for employment, education/training, and independent living. The ones that did were sooo boring.  I copied a few of them and did the transition interviews with some students.  The kids answered the questions as their eyes glazed over and my eyes followed suit.  I just couldn’t imagine this was the best I could do. Time to drop the old set in the recycling bin and create fun and informative plans!

Need even more examples? Check out Your Teaching Doc’s Top Tips for Pre-Vocational Skills here.

special education transition needs iep examples for teachers to use for planning and assessment
Transition needs IEP examples provide special education teachers with a solid foundation for the requirements of an IEP transition meeting.

Special Education IEP Transition Assessment for Students with Autism

I decided that I couldn’t handle the boring student surveys from the binder sure to cure insomnia.  Because of this, I created my own set focusing on the skills I was hunting for above.  I wanted assessments that would meet the required evidence and were fun.  Meaningless, boring transition assessments for IEP wouldn’t do the kids any good and would turn me into Charlie Brown’s teacher.  

First, I created a list of different activities that would show how competent students were in life skills.  I focused on assessing three areas: employment skills, education and training Skills, and independent living skills. Afterwards, I made the assessments and tried them out with my students.  And guess what happened? I started looking forward to interviewing the students!  They had fun doing them, and we had a great dialogue.  I was able to give parents and students valuable information about mastered skills and those abilities that were emerging or weren’t introduced.  Life was good!

picture of highlighted top 10 special education transition assessments plans for IEP transition section support
Meaningful special education transition assessments plans for IEP transition section support.

IEP Transition Assessments for Special Education Nonverbal Students

Except for one group that was over looked.  Not all of my students are able to verbalize their abilities.  Some students with intellectual disabilities have unique needs that I must address in transition assessments.  With careful consideration, I created a picture-based set for these students.  The set is really empowering because these students can express themselves in a meaningful way.  A wonderful teacher helped me expand on this original set by adding matching picture cards for the student to indicate their choice.  

Of course, some of our students have no mode of communication.  Because of this, I created assessments so the guardians or teacher could complete them.  This still provides a meaningful conversation about the student’s future after school and is completely appropriate in these situations.  I also have used this type of assessment for student who was hospitalized in a mental health facility and was unable to be interviewed. In the end, I make sure that the student’s best interests are at the heart of the IEP transition plan.

picture based transition to be compliant with special education requirements
Transition Assessments are a must for special education requirements of secondary students.

Special Education Requirements for IEP Transition

The flexibility that this set provides is so valuable for the busy and student-centered teacher. I typically complete transition assessments for IEP a week or two before the plan is due. Looking for a different idea? A teacher told me that she uses my transition assessment set in her first days of school lesson plans.  I think this is an amazing way to get to know students and get paperwork done!  How do you use your transition assessments?  Are you ready for a new set that will become near and dear to your heart and the IEP transition section???

checkbox shopping list assessment for special education transition assessments for students with special education needs
Use special education transition assessments that last for years and make the sped teacher’s job easier and more enjoyable.

Ready to roll out some amazing IEP transition plans? Click here to check out the set Caroline uses.

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Hey, there! I'm Caroline.

I’m a special educator who helps students, teachers, and families live their best lives.  I was born and raised on an Indiana farm that been in our family for over 150 years.  I love all animals, people with autism, and hot chocolate.

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