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Special Education

"Preparing for Life After High School: The Characteristics and Experiences of Youth in Special Education"

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A new, two-volume report exploring the experiences of students with disabilities highlights key indicators that such students will succeed after high school.

Mathematica Policy Research and the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota compiled information from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012, a representative sample of nearly 13,000 students ages 13 to 21, most of whom have individualized education programs.

The report revealed that students with an IEP who experience bullying and suspension at higher rates are less engaged in school and social activities.

The study also found seven characteristics linked to post-high-school success for students with disabilities: performing the acts of daily living well; getting together with friends weekly; participating in a school sport or club; never being suspended; taking a college-entrance or -placement exam; getting recent paid-work experience; and having parents who expect the student to live independently. Youths with intellectual and multiple disabilities are less likely than their peers with disabilities to have six of those seven experiences. Youths in both groups, however, are more likely to have never been suspended.

Five groups—youths with autism, deaf-blindness, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, and orthopedic impairments—appear to be at higher risk than all those with an IEP for challenges making successful transitions from high school.

Vol. 36, Issue 27, Page 5

Published in Print: April 5, 2017, as Special Education
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