The information on the following pages emphasizes key points, re-iterates answers
to frequently asked questions and explains some of the processes used in Arlington
from a parent’s point of view. You must read the full text of the laws themselves
to be fully informed.
There are two periods of transition during the special education process:
In toddlerhood, when a child moves from early intervention into the public special
education system at 3 years of age. This aspect of transition will be addressed
In Massachusetts when the child turns 14 years of age, preparation must begin for
secondary transition out of special education and into the adult world.
As your child approaches adulthood you need to start considering where they want
to go in life, what job will they do? Will they go to college? Are they prepared
to perform activities of daily living; e.g. laundry, riding public transportation,
dealing with finances, whether it’s making change or balancing a checkbook. What
skills will they need to be independent, and if independence is not possible, what
services will be required?
Massachusetts regulations require transition planning start when the student is 14
years of age. The school district must:
Plan for the student's need for transition services
If needed, write appropriate goals in the IEP for a student who is 14 years of age.
invite the student, 14 years or older, to all IEP meetings where the Team discusses
the student's transition planning.
Under IDEA Section 300.43 Transition services are a set of activities that are results-oriented,
focused on improving the academic and functional achievement to facilitate the child's
movement from school to post-school activities. This includes:
Those services must be based on the individual child's needs, taking into account
the child's strengths, preferences, and interests; and includes:
The development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and
If appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional
Transition services for children with disabilities may be special education, if provided
as specially designed instruction, or a related service, if required to assist a
child with a disability to benefit from special education.