Making Transition Work

Self Advocacy Makes Transitions Work

If the truth be told, when it comes to transition, parents are frequently in the dark as to all of the areas that transition covers and just how comprehensive the umbrella of transition can be for their student. When there are inexperienced teachers, or other factors that do not support an informed set of goals in the areas necessary to making a reasonable transition from Secondary to Post-secondary education and independent living, it is up to the advocate to not only educate the parents but also to facilitate setting appropriate IEP goals for transition. The areas that demand transition goals include:

  • Post Secondary Education Goals
  • Career awareness / Employment Goals
  • Self-advocacy Goals
  • Organization and Study Skills Goals
  • Independent Living Goals
  • Education / Training Goals
  • Employment IEP Goals
  • Community Participation Goals
  • Adult Living Skills - Post School Goals
  • Assistive Technology and Related Services Goal
  • Daily Living Skills


Many students seem to have an aversion to self advocacy and they go out of their way to minimize any attention brought to their challenges. Some students do not even know or understand what diagnoses they may have and how those disabilities impact their learning. That is why self advocacy goals are so important. It is about learning to accept themselves and speak with confidence in order to enlist the supports needed.

If a 10 year old can speak intelligently about their type I diabetes and how they need to be aware of activity levels, nutrition needs, and insulin, then all students can get to a point where they can address their challenges and needs.

Student will demonstrate self-advocacy skills in order to communicate learning style, academic and behavioral needs.

  • Student will complete a learning style inventory and be able to describe learning style.
  • Student will communicate to others the strengths and weaknesses of their learning style.
  • Student will review the modifications /adaptations page of his/her IEP.
  • Student will communicate with teachers to seek help, clarify instructions or requirements of academic tasks, and make them aware of accommodations.
  • Student will identify impact of behaviors on self and others and how it affects learning.
  • Student will assess accuracy of assignments and tests by reviewing for errors and making necessary revisions.
  • Student will accept the consequences of being unprepared for class by discussing such consequences and developing a strategy to avoid such problems in the future.
  • Student will demonstrate the skill of obtaining information from teachers regarding tests, quizzes, projects, etc.
  • Student will develop and carry out a plan for making up work missed.
  • Student will accept responsibility for utilizing resource period services to meet classroom objectives.
  • Student will discuss specific topic behaviors (positive or negative) and the effect on academic classes and/or social performance of self.
  • Student will seek guidance/direction when facing new or difficult situations.
  • Student will appropriately confront topics/ issues, which are uncomfortable, with teacher/Para-support.
  • Student will plan and implement alternative solutions for school problems as they occur with adult guidance.
  • Student will face academic and social situations positively and appropriately and discuss feelings regarding these situations.
  • Student will accept praise and/or criticism from peers or adults and utilize this to change social and behavioral outcomes.


NSEAI's online courses efficiently lead parents and professionals to an expert level of education advocacy in just 12 days of on-demand courses that you can do at your convenience.








Marie Lewis is an author, consultant, and national speaker on best practices in education advocacy. She is a parent of 3 children and a Disability Case Manager, Board Certified Education Advocate, and Behavior Specialist Consultant. She has assisted in the development of thousands of IEPs nationally and consults on developing appropriately individualized IEPs that are outcome based vs legally sufficient. She brings a great depth of expertise, practical experience, and compassion to her work as well as expert insight, vision, and systemic thinking. She is passionate and funny and she always inspires and informs.


MJ Gore has an MEd in counseling and a degree in elementary education and natural sciences. She worked as a life-skills and learning support teacher She has been honored with the receipt of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. She is the Director and on the faculty at the National Special Education Advocacy Institute. Her passion is social justice, especially in the area of education. She is a Board Certified Education Advocate that teaches professional advocates, educator, and clinicians the best practices in education advocacy.

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