Transition Out of High School

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Students who transition from high school to volunteer work, further education, or a job might experience transition challenges similar to when they moved from elementary school to high school. These include difficulty adjusting to a new environment and adapting to new social norms. By planning ahead, students can put supports in place that will help with these transitions.

Students with ASD may need support in these areas in order to succeed. In this section, you will find descriptions of common challenges and questions that you can ask when requesting support. At the end of this section, you will find a printable version of these questions which you can use when meeting with school officials.

Students with ASD can take a proactive approach when transitioning out of high school by planning for the transition while they are still in school.

Questions for students who are following the work or volunteer pathway

Some students want to gain some work experience during high school but may not be able to manage the typical co-op placement.

  • What accommodations can be made in co-op placements? (e.g., in some school boards, there is an expectation that students will complete a full 8-hour day in co-op for 2 credits during the summer. How can this be modified?)
  • Will the co-op placement supervisor know about a student’s special needs?
  • How can the school help to prepare students for work or volunteer opportunities when high school ends? In particular, what supports can the school provide for:
    • filling out applications
    • writing up a résumé
    • submitting applications
    • looking for jobs, navigating online employment sites
    • where to look for jobs
    • preparing for a job interview
    • coaching for appropriate communication with potential employers
    • where to look for volunteer opportunities after high school
  • Does the school/school board employ a Community Transition Resource Worker?
    • What is the role of the Community Transition Resource Worker?
    • How do students access the Community Transition Resource Worker?
    • Can students have access to the Community Transition Resource Worker prior to their last year of high school?
  • What community agencies could assist with preparing for and finding work after high school?

Questions for students who are following the post-secondary education pathway

  • How can we get information about preparing an application to college or university?
  • Are there any university or college preparatory courses that the school can recommend?
  • How do we set up a college or university tour?
  • Does the school provide support for filling out post-secondary applications?
  • Are there any government funded scholarships or grants specifically targeting students with autism spectrum disorder?
  • Who at the school can assist with researching and applying for scholarships and funding?
  • Will there be similar accommodations at the post-secondary level that are in place at high school?
  • Is attending college or university part-time an option? If so, how do students apply for part-time studies?