Does providing transition services early enable students with ASD to achieve better vocational outcomes as adults? 

Authors: Cimera, R., Burgess, S., & Wiley, A.
Year Published 2013
Publication Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Volume 38
Number 2
Pages 88-93
Publisher TASH
Background One critical outcome typically achieved in adulthood is employment.  In response to low rates of employment across disability groups, many in the special education field have advocated that transition from school to work be given greater emphasis in the development of IEPs.
Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate whether receiving transition services early (i.e., by age 14) promoted better vocational outcomes than receiving transition services later (i. e., by age 16) for young adults with ASD.
Setting State VR programs
Sample 906 young adults with ASD
Data Collection Data for this study came from the Rehabilitation Services Administration 911 database.
Control Transition planning starting at age 16.
Findings In each of the four years examined, individuals from the early transition states were significantly more likely to be employed than individuals from the later transition group. Further, early transition individuals who became employed appeared to earn more wages and cost less to serve.
Conclusions Findings presented here suggest that waiting until age 16 may be too late to begin transition planning.  Consequently, it would be beneficial to both individuals with ASD and taxpayers if the age at which transition services are mandated to be included in IEPs be returned to age 14.
Disabilities Autism Spectrum Disorder
Populations Male & Female
Outcomes Employment acquisition | Wages
NIDILRR Funded Not Reported
Research Design Observational
Peer Reviewed Yes