Cognitive Science, Inclusion, Transitions Researchers wanted to identify skills, behaviors, expectations, and experiences required of students with cognitive disabilities post-high school to ensure effective transition into new settings for these students. Certain Skills Can Lead to a More Positive Post-School Transition Following a detailed literature review, the authors were able to create a cluster of […]23 Nov 2023
Postsecondary School Outcomes for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
January 25, 2023
Cognitive Science, Inclusion, Transitions
Researchers wanted to identify skills, behaviors, expectations, and experiences required of students with cognitive disabilities post-high school to ensure effective transition into new settings for these students.
Certain Skills Can Lead to a More Positive Post-School Transition
Following a detailed literature review, the authors were able to create a cluster of relevant skills leading to positive post-school transition outcomes. Moreover, they identified steps in developing a research-based transition assessment for students with cognitive disabilities.
Over 40 Years of Studies Were Analyzed
The researchers chose 53 quantitative and qualitative studies which met an extensive list of criteria to ensure their relevance to the research task. The studies included were published between 1975 and 2018 and were reviewed by several expert advisors prior to the literature review. The research team categorized the 103 identified skills, behaviors, expectations, and experiences into ten constructs that influence post-school transition: academics, agency assistance, employment, family home expectations and support, personal experiences, school experiences, self-determination, self-care, social, and technology.
Effectively Support Post-School Transitions
It was discussed that educators and family members should be made aware of factors that are known to increase participation in post-school outcomes. The study urges stakeholders to design a post-school transition assessment to identify the areas of strengths and weaknesses for each student to effectively support them in their transition. Consequently, this would influence classroom instructions and guidance for educators and families to support post-school outcomes like further education, employment, and independent living.
“…few transition assessments have been adapted to meet the needs of students with significant cognitive disabilities.”
“…current transition assessments are rooted in vocational evaluation and career
assessment, which do not address goals related to independent living.”
“Improving the post high school outcomes of students with significant cognitive disabilities is dependent on identifying the areas of greatest strength and need throughout the transition planning process, which, in turn, is dependent on having students and families provide input.”
The study highlights how important student voice and choice is. To allow for the best possible outcome for students, we have to teach them skills that empower them to make the best possible choices for themselves, using skills that allow them to be independent and reflective. I will pay closer attention to the readiness of my students to be living by themselves and their self-advocacy for a post-school setting.—Frankie
McConnell, A., Sanford, C., Martin, J., Cameto, R., & Hodge, L. (2021). Skills, Behaviors, Expectations, and Experiences Associated with Improved Postsecondary Outcomes for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 46(4), 240-258.