Feds Should Help Students With Autism Transition Federal agencies can—and should—take more action to support students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as they transition out of high school and into adulthood, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. “Youth With Autism: Federal Agencies Should Take Additional Action to Support Transition-Age Youth” makes three specific ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   July 01, 2017
Feds Should Help Students With Autism Transition
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Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / School-Based Settings / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   July 01, 2017
Feds Should Help Students With Autism Transition
The ASHA Leader, July 2017, Vol. 22, 13. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.22072017.13
The ASHA Leader, July 2017, Vol. 22, 13. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.22072017.13
Federal agencies can—and should—take more action to support students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as they transition out of high school and into adulthood, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
  • The Department of Education should re-evaluate the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act requirement that transition planning begin at age 16 for students with ASD, and perhaps begin that planning at 14 instead.

  • The Department of Health and Human Services should better collaborate with other federal agencies to help provide services and research on youth with ASD as they transition into adulthood.

  • The two departments and the Social Security Administration should develop a long-term plan to implement the goals and policy priorities of the 2020 Federal Youth Transition Plan, including milestone and specific agency assignments. This 2015 document outlines a federal interagency plan to achieve better outcomes for youth with disabilities.

In light of research that suggests students with ASD are less likely than youngsters with other disabilities to transition successfully to work and other post-high school education, the General Accounting Office surveyed special education directors in school districts nationwide. It also interviewed federal officials and state and local stakeholders in three states representing a mix of jurisdictions that do or do not have transition services, differ in urban characteristics, and are geographically dispersed.
It found that 85 percent of districts provide instruction on life, social and behavioral skills as students transitioned into the real world. About 69 percent provided work experiences, and 63 percent provided job coaching. Mental health and independent living skills were provided by the fewest districts.
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July 2017
Volume 22, Issue 7