Characteristics of transition planning and services for students with high-incidence disabilities

Audrey A. Trainor, Mary E. Morningstar, Angela Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transition planning is conceptually and empirically linked to successful postschool outcomes for adolescents with disabilities and has been legally mandated for more than two decades. Unfortunately, young adults with high-incidence disabilities, including learning disabilities (LD), emotional disabilities (ED), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), continue to experience poor postschool outcomes. Using a secondary analysis of the second National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS2), this study examined both the quality and characteristics of transition plans for a nationally representative group of adolescents with high-incidence disabilities and the extent to which transition planning and services were similar across the three high-incidence disabilities. Findings indicate that a majority of students with high-incidence disabilities have transition plans and that key stakeholders participated in planning meetings. Findings also support the inclusion of adolescents with LD, ED, and ADHD in the larger category of high-incidence disabilities. Implications include further examination of the disparate relationship between planning and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-124
Number of pages12
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2014


  • high-incidence disabilities
  • secondary special education
  • transition planning
  • transition services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Health Professions
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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