Preliminary work for the Autism Transition Project was done to conduct a scan of national and state level work that has been, or is currently being done on secondary transition issues for youth with disabilities – including autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This included:
- Informational interviews with a sample of national, state, and local representatives in the field;
- Reviewing and cataloguing reports, publications, and other information on secondary transition for youth with disabilities
Based on feedback from informational interviews and from this ATP Advisory Group a dozen (12) states were selected to do a more in depth scan of state-level policies and programs pertaining to secondary transition and youth with an ASD. A set of fourteen (14) questions was devised to provide a structured approach for gathering available online information. These guiding questions included:
- Is there a specific state agency that takes the lead in overseeing policy and services for children and youth with an ASD?
- Does the state have an inter-agency government coordinating body to assist with coordinating needs of students and families with an ASD and/or developmental disabilities/children with special health care needs?
- How do state agencies provide oversight for children and youth with an ASD, and how do local school districts coordinate care for students with an ASD – Is there a specific coordinating entity between government agencies and schools?
- What is the monitoring and reporting system from the local education entity to the state around services for students with an ASD or developmental disorder?
- Is there a state-level commission or workgroup for ASD? If so, was it formed by legislation? What year? Who does it report to?
- Has there been legislation introduced or policy recommendations formed around transition services as a result of any commission, council, work group or task force?
- At what age must transition planning legally begin within the state – does state law pertaining to transition planning and related school services differ from federal requirements?
- Does the state’s Title V plan include a specific plan to address ASDs?
- What is the state’s performance related to the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN) indicators used to measure transition?
- Has there been any work within the state specifically on issue related to transition of students from secondary school to college or career? Who is conducting this work and who is funding it?
- What are the customized employment programs within the state for individuals with an ASD or other developmental disability? How are they funded?
- What state-level requirements or recommendations are there for secondary transition training for educators and providers? What types of tools are available to educators and providers?
- Is there an existing regional hub or information repository for ASD? Does it include transition-related services? How is it funded?
- Is there an autism center for excellence within the state? If so, does it do any work around secondary transition in partnership with state or local agencies, including schools?
National & State Scan
National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs
Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health
National Conference of State Legislatures, Autism Legislation Database