Kindergarten - 12th Grade

Preparing for Adult Life

We call the process of preparing students in ESE programs for adult life "secondary transition." This begins in Florida by the time a student turns 14. You are a very important part of transition because your involvement helps determine how successful your young person's transition will be.

It is very important that your young person participate in the transition planning process, especially in deciding what he or she would like to do after leaving school. As students get older, they can even take charge of parts or all of their IEP meetings.

The IEP team will identify the services that will help your son or daughter make their transition. When working on the IEP to be in effect when your son or daughter turns 16, they may include representatives of agencies that are likely to provide or pay for services, such as Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) or the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). Agencies can only be invited with your permission or the permission of your son or daughter who is 18. You can also invite people to the meeting who you believe will be helpful in planning your student's future.

The goal of transition services is to help students prepare for post-school activities, such as:

  • College or university
  • Continuing and adult education
  • Career and technical (vocational) training
  • Employment
  • Adult services from various agencies
  • Independent living
  • Community participation

It is very important that firm plans be made while your son or daughter is still in school so his or her transition to adult life is as smooth as possible. More information and year-by-year checklists are available in the publication Transition Planning for Students: A Guide for Families. Parents can order a printed copy, in English or Spanish, from