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Transition and Vocational Assessment Introduction

Conducting assessments that are related to transition needs or services is an important and necessary consideration for students identified with or suspected of having autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as with any disability identified under special education law.

Overview of Instruments

Provisions of IDEA (2004) require the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD)/IEP committee to address students’ transition needs and services by the age of 16. If transition assessment, either formal or informal, is needed, a variety of approaches are available for consideration. The most commonly administered assessments address student interests (topics, subjects, or fields of interest as they relate to vocations and avocations); aptitudes (job-related knowledge and abilities); or preferences (e.g., type of setting or work environment preferred, working individually or alone, working inside or outside, active/physical or sedentary work). An additional area of assessment, self-determination, has become increasingly important, as IDEA has emphasized the importance of student involvement in transition planning and decision-making.

This section of TARGET includes a review of transition-related assessments that may be used for students who have or are suspected of having ASD. Included are standardized norm-referenced measures, as well as criterion- and curriculum-referenced tools. In addition to the areas of assessment mentioned above, other, more in-depth assessment processes may be required, depending on individual needs. Examples of other assessments include, but are not limited to, informal occupational exploration through school-based opportunities or hands-on community-based experiences; assessment of work behaviors; situational work assessments (assessing individual’s competencies in performing essential job duties of specific competitive employment positions); work sampling; work tolerance and functional capacity assessment; motor skill and manual dexterity testing; assessing assistive technology needs and accommodations required within a workplace; assessing postsecondary training and workplace accommodations; and independent living skills assessments. Adaptive behavior assessment results and any relevant implications should also be considered when assessing an individual’s transition needs.

The assessments selected include the following:

  • Air Self-Determination Scale
  • ARC’s Self-Determination Scale
  • Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
  • Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS)
  • Career Orientation Placement and Evaluation Survey (COPES)
  • Career Occupational Preference System (COPSystem-3C)
  • Career Occupational Preference System – Picture Inventory of Careers (COPS-PIC)
  • Functional Skills Screening Inventory (FSSI)
  • McCarron-Dial Evaluation System (MDS)
  • Prevocational Assessment Screen (PAS)
  • Reading-Free Vocational Interest Inventory – Second Edition (RFVII-2)
  • Skills Assessment Module (SAM)
  • Self-Directed Search® – Fifth Edition (SDS®-5)
  • Brigance Transition Skills Inventory (TSI)
  • TEACCH Transition Assessment Profile (TTAP) – Second Edition [previously called Adolescent And Adult Psychoeducational Profile (AAPEP)]
  • VOC-TIES and Career Development Plan

Work Personality Profile and Computer Report (WPP); Wide Range Interest and Occupation Test – Second Edition (WRIOT-2).

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