Evidence-Based Practices and Predictors: Improving Post-School Outcomes for Students with Disabilities Post-school outcomes for individuals with disabilities have been persistently poor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014)  found only 18% of individuals with disabilities were active in the labor force, and Newman et al. (2011)  found only 41% have completed a post-secondary education program. Research in secondary transition has identified 64 ... Article
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Article  |   September 27, 2016
Evidence-Based Practices and Predictors: Improving Post-School Outcomes for Students with Disabilities
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Bradley S. Stevenson
    University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
  • Perry F. Flynn
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
  • David W. Test
    Department of Special Education and Child Development, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
  • Disclosures Financial: Bradley S. Stevenson is a graduate research assistant at University of North Carolina Charlotte. Perry F. Flynn is a professor in the academic professional track in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. David W. Test is a professor in the Special Education Program at University of North Carolina Charlotte.
    Disclosures Financial: Bradley S. Stevenson is a graduate research assistant at University of North Carolina Charlotte. Perry F. Flynn is a professor in the academic professional track in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. David W. Test is a professor in the Special Education Program at University of North Carolina Charlotte.×
  • Nonfinancial: Bradley S. Stevenson has no nonfinancial interests to disclose. Perry F. Flynn and David W. Test have previously published in this topic area, some of these works are cited in this manuscript. Some of this information will be presented as a poster presentation at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, 2016.
    Nonfinancial: Bradley S. Stevenson has no nonfinancial interests to disclose. Perry F. Flynn and David W. Test have previously published in this topic area, some of these works are cited in this manuscript. Some of this information will be presented as a poster presentation at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, 2016.×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Part 2
Article   |   September 27, 2016
Evidence-Based Practices and Predictors: Improving Post-School Outcomes for Students with Disabilities
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, September 2016, Vol. 1, 47-62. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG16.47
History: Received May 17, 2016 , Accepted July 3, 2016 , Revised July 7, 2016
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, September 2016, Vol. 1, 47-62. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG16.47
History: Received May 17, 2016; Accepted July 3, 2016; Revised July 7, 2016

Post-school outcomes for individuals with disabilities have been persistently poor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014)  found only 18% of individuals with disabilities were active in the labor force, and Newman et al. (2011)  found only 41% have completed a post-secondary education program. Research in secondary transition has identified 64 practices that are effective with and 16 predictors that improve the post-school outcomes for this population. Many of these are compatible with the services speech-language pathologists (SLPs) provide. This article reviews the evidence-based practices and predictors relevant to SLPs by defining, describing, and providing examples of how to use them.

Poor post-school outcomes are a persistent issue for individuals with disabilities. These outcomes pervade all areas of life after high school. With respect to employment outcomes, only 18% of individuals with disabilities were active members of the labor force, compared with 68% of individuals without disabilities (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). When the focus is expanded to postsecondary education, 60% of individuals with disabilities were reported to have ever enrolled in postsecondary education compared to 67% of individuals without disabilities, and only 41% of individuals with disabilities had completed a postsecondary education program compared to 52% of individuals without a disability (Newman et al., 2011). These statistics illustrate significant gaps.
While in school, students with disabilities often receive a variety of services to address the various exceptionalities that contribute to these gaps. Secondary transition services are specifically intended to improve post-school success (Test, Fowler, et al., 2009). As such, it is not surprising that participation in a secondary transition program has been shown to predict improved employment and postsecondary education outcomes (Test, Mazzotti, et al., 2009). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) defines secondary transition services as:

A coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that (a) is designed to be a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation; (b) is based on the individual child's needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences, and interests; and (c) includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. (IDEA; 34 CFR 300.43 (a)] [20 U.S.C. 1401(34)])

IDEA continues to list the requirements associated with secondary transition. These are that beginning the year students turn 16, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) of all students with a disability include: (a) appropriate, measureable post-secondary goals based on age-appropriate transition assessments; (b) a description of the transition services to meet those goals; and (c) a statement the student has been informed of his or her rights the year prior to reaching the age of majority. These requirements are to be carried out by the student's IEP team, which is to include the student, a representative from the student's family (e.g., parent), a special educator, a general educator, a public agency representative, an interpreter if needed, and any other appropriate individual with knowledge to contribute (e.g., related service personnel, advocate). It is worth mentioning that although IDEA does not require transition services until the year a student turns 16, many states set a younger age and experts recommend transition planning begin as early as possible with assessment beginning at age 13 and having a plan in place by the 9th grade (Neubert & Leconte, 2013).
The fact the IDEA definition includes instruction, related services, and more shows that transition programming should be embedded throughout all the activities of a student's day. A common related service that individuals with disabilities receive is speech-language pathology which, by focusing on improving communication, directly relates to post-school success. For instance, Carter, Austin, and Trainor (2012)  found that for students with severe disabilities, those who could communicate with others with little or no difficulty were three to four times more likely to find post-school employment than students who had difficulties. Thus, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who work with secondary students with disabilities should consider transition in their planning (Flynn, 2013). This includes consideration of students' goals for postsecondary education, living, and employment, as well as designing services using evidence-based practices to ensure students have the communication skills necessary to meet those goals.
Because of the need for effective intervention with these students, there have been similar pushes in secondary transition and speech therapy for practitioners to utilize interventions supported by high quality scientific research. With respect to transition services, this emphasis can be seen in federal law which requires educators to use instruction based on peer-reviewed research (IDEA, 2004). To meet this requirement, the field of secondary transition has begun to evaluate the evidence for individual interventions in an attempt to identify “evidence-based practices” (EBPs) that have been demonstrated as effective by quality research (Odom et al., 2005). This is being done to provide practitioners with trusted resources they can use when deciding how to teach a particular skill. Two studies of note are: (a) Test, Fowler, et al. (2009), which reviewed the experimental literature and identified evidence-based practices for secondary students with disabilities in the secondary transition literature; and (b) Test, Mazzotti, et al. (2009), which reviewed the correlational research and identified a set of predictors of post-school success in the areas of education, employment, and independent living for secondary students with disabilities.
The field of speech-language pathology has taken a slightly different approach to ensuring practitioners use interventions based on scientific evidence. As opposed to providing resources showing how much evidence supports a particular practice, the field of speech-language pathology has emphasized a decision-making process professionals should use that incorporates analysis of research. For instance, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA, 2005) defines evidence-based practice as the integration of high-quality research with professional opinion and client values into the decision making process. One strength of this approach is that by emphasizing professional judgment and client value it allows, and encourages, professionals to be able to adapt and modify practices, ensuring they are the appropriate fit for each individual client (Reilly, 2004).
In addition to the advantages, there are potential issues with the speech-language pathology approach that need consideration. For instance, clinicians may not have the necessary skills to (a) locate all relevant evidence, as even trained librarians miss up to 30% of publications on a topic, or (b) evaluate research quality, as advanced training in a variety of research methods (e.g., group experimental, single-case, correlational) is required (Elliott, 2004). Similarly, Hoffman, Ireland, Hall-Mills, and Flynn's (2013)  survey of school-based SLPs found that, despite a high interest, school-based professionals were unable to access peer-reviewed research journals regularly enough to support research-based practice for a variety of reasons (e.g., lack of resources). However, for SLPs involved in the secondary transition process, resources are available to help identify instructional practices and strategies based on high-quality research. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to assist SLPs with the process of identifying secondary transition practices (Test, Fowler, et al., 2009) and predictors (Test, Mazzotti, et al., 2009) supported by high quality research. In addition to the descriptions, explicit suggestions will be made regarding how these practices and predictors can be incorporated into the delivery of speech-language pathology services.
Evidence-Based Practices for Secondary Transition
In 2009 Test, Fowler, et al. conducted a comprehensive review of experimental and quasi-experimental literature to identify EBPs in the field of secondary transition. The authors included articles that: (a) were published in peer-reviewed journals from 1984–2008; (b) included participants who were secondary students diagnosed with a disability between the of ages 11 and 22; and (c) identified and described an independent variable or dependent variable that corresponded with one of the areas of the Taxonomy for Transition Programming (i.e., student-focused planning, student development, interagency collaboration, family involvement, program structures; Kohler, 1996). This resulted in 240 articles identified.
After meeting inclusion criteria, each study was evaluated to see whether or not it adhered to indicators of quality research. If the study employed a group experimental design, it was evaluated using a quality indicator checklist based on the recommendations of Gersten et al. (2005) . If the study employed a single-case design, a quality indicator checklist based on the recommendations of Horner et al. (2005)  was used. Once all studies were evaluated for quality, they were sorted into groups based on independent and dependent variables (e.g., studies that used least-to-most prompting to increase communication skills). Once sorted, the amount of quality evidence for each practice was summarized, and a determination was made regarding whether there was sufficient evidence to consider the practice evidence-based. The number of studies required was based on the recommendations by Gersten et al. for group design studies and Horner et al. for single-case studies.
This process resulted in the identification of 32 EBPs for secondary transition. Since that initial study, the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) has updated the review annually, which has resulted in 64 total secondary transition EBPs (NSTTAC, 2013). This list of EBPs includes interventions for teaching students a variety of skills relevant for secondary transition such as academic, functional life, community integration, communication, and job specific skills.
Evidence-Based Practices Relevant to Speech-Language Pathology
Of the 64 secondary transition EBPs, 21 are relevant for SLPs. These practices represent a variety of methods including (a) methods for response prompting (e.g., constant time delay, progressive time delay, system of most prompts), (b) academic interventions (e.g., mnemonic strategies, peer assistance, visual displays), (c) methods of task analysis (e.g., backward chaining, forward chaining, total task training), (d) practices related to self-determination (e.g., Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction, self-management), (e) technology-based interventions (e.g., computer-assisted instruction), and (f) others (e.g., community-based instruction, parent training modules, published curricula). For a complete list of these practices see Table 1.
Table 1. Evidence-Based Practices.
Evidence-Based Practices.×
Category Description of Practice Application Example
Backward Chaining Backward chaining is defined as a student performing the final behavior in a task analysis sequence and being reinforced once the task has been performed, at which time the next-to-last behavior is introduced to the student (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). In a grocery store, the student may begin with the last step as a bagger. “May I help you to your car?” Then move backwards to “Paper or Plastic bags?” and other questions that occur earlier in the job sequence.
Computer-Assisted Instruction Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is defined as using a computer or some other type of technology (e.g., personal digital assistant, hypermedia systems) to improve students' skills, knowledge, and academic performance (Okolo, Bahr, & Rieth, 1993). A student may use an assistive technology device, Dynavox, or iPad as a voice output device or self-model or prompt for a verbal response.
Community-Based Instruction Community-based instruction (CBI) is defined as instruction of functional skills that takes place within the community where target skills can be practiced within a natural environment (Brown et al., 1983). The SLP may go with the student to a nursing home to practice being a greeter and script and practice the anticipated greetings and other communication skills involved in the specific job.
Constant Time Delay Constant time delay (CTD) is defined as providing a student a fixed amount of time between instruction and giving a prompt in which the teacher initially presents multiple trials using a 0 sec delay followed by a simultaneous prompt condition using a fixed time delay (e.g., 3 sec or 5 sec; Cooper et al., 2007). The SLP will prompt the student with appropriate greeting responses as she learns to function as the greeter at the nursing home.
Forward Chaining Forward chaining is defined as teaching behaviors identified in a task analysis in their naturally occurring order. Reinforcement is delivered when the predetermined criterion for the first behavior in the sequence is achieved then the next step in the task analysis is taught (Cooper et al., 2007). The SLP teaches the student who is learning to be a grocery store bagger all the appropriate responses in the correct order. “Hello”, “Did you find everything you were looking for?”……
“One More Than” Strategy The “One More Than” strategy is defined as teaching students to pay one more dollar than requested (e.g., cost is $2.29, student would give $3.00; Denny & Test, 1995). The SLP may provide instruction on self-talk or self-prompting that the student will use to remind him/herself to use the “One More Than” strategy.
Parent Training Modules Parent training modules are described as training packages in which a single topic or a small section of a broad topic is studied for a given period of time to parents (Morsink, 1988). Speech-language pathologists often provide “homework” for students to practice. This may take the form of social stories or workplace “scripts.”
Progressive Time Delay Progressive time delay is defined as gradually increasing the amount of time between instruction and giving a prompt during which the teacher initially begins with a 0 sec delay followed by a simultaneous prompt condition that gradually and systematically increases the time delay (e.g., 0 sec to 2 sec to 4 sec; Cooper et al., 2007). As the student becomes more familiar with the language of the particular work place, the SLP may decrease the time between prompts to allow the student to become more independent in use of the appropriate language.
Published Curricula Four published curricula have been identified as evidence-based practices for teaching students to participate in and lead IEP meetings, be involved in the transition planning process, and gain self-determination skills (Test et al., 2004). They are the Self-Advocacy Strategy (Van Reusen, Bos, Schumaker, & Deshler, 2007), Self-Directed IEP (Martin, Marshall, Maxson, & Jerman, 1997), Whose Future is It Anyway? (Wehmeyer & Kelchner, 1995), and Check and Connect (Christenson, Stout, & Pohl, 2012) Speech-language pathologists can discuss, script, and rehearse possible communication opportunities for every student, enabling them to participate at their ability level in their IEP conferences or in determining their future.
Response Prompting Response prompting is defined as using stimuli that function as an extra cue or reminder for a desired behavior and is typically emitted in the form of verbal instructions, modeling, and/or physical guidance (Cooper et al., 2007). Many SLPs use picture cards or other visual prompts to encourage the student to use the desired language without verbal prompting.
Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI) The SDLMI is an instructional model that teaches students to become self-regulated learners in order to gain self-determination skills and includes three phases that provide students with opportunities to set a goal, develop a plan to address the goal, and evaluate changes to successfully meet the goal (Agran, Blanchard, & Wehmeyer, 2000). This tool provides an excellent opportunity for SLPs to “conference” with students about their communication goals and plan on a meta-linguistic level about reasonable goals and communication expectations for a particular work/social setting.
Self-Management Self-management is defined as monitoring or evaluating personal behavior in order to change and control a subsequent behavior (Cooper et al., 2007). Use of this strategy encourages students to monitor their own progress through independent data collection and self-assessment
Simulation Simulation is defined as using materials and situations in the classroom that approximate the natural environmental conditions where the behavior will be performed in the community (Bates, Cuvo, Miner, & Korabek, 2001). Many SLPs use this strategy frequently by contriving situations that simulate natural environments in order to practice communication skills. They then hopefully move to practicing skills in natural environments.
System of Least Prompts System of least prompts, or least to most prompts, is defined as a method in which the teacher begins with the least obtrusive prompt giving the student the opportunity to perform the response with little assistance, followed by a gradually increasing the level of prompting based on the degree of assistance the student needs to emit the appropriate response (Cooper et al., 2007). Speech-language pathologists frequently use this strategy by providing unobtrusive visual prompts that perhaps only the student and SLP will realize represent the use of fluency techniques or other desired communication enhancing skills.
System of Most Prompts System of most prompts, or most-to-least prompts, is defined as a method in which the teacher begins with the most obtrusive prompt (e.g., physical guidance) guiding the student through the performance sequence and gradually decreases the level of prompting as training progresses (Cooper et al., 2007). Sometimes SLPs find that for students to use communication strategies, strong and clear prompts are required but can hopefully be faded as students internalize the desired skills.
Total Task Training Total task chaining is defined as training a student on each step of a task analysis during every instructional setting (Cooper et al., 2007). Speech-language pathologists frequently provide a task analyses of a job including all the communication expectations of every step (i.e., all the steps to bagging groceries and all the questions that the bagger will ask the customer.)
Evidence-based Academic Interventions
Mnemonic Strategies Mnemonic strategies include memory-associative techniques, keyword mnemonic strategies, keyword-pegword, and reconstructive elaborations. Speech-language pathologists frequently use mnemonic devices as prompts to help students with a variety of skills. For example the editing strategy COPS stands for checking Capitalization, Organization, Punctuation, and Spelling.
Peer Assistance Peer assistance involves having a student deliver academic instruction to another student and includes peer tutoring, cooperative learning, and peer instruction. Speech-language pathologists often include peers as helpers or data collectors, communication skill monitors, or appropriate linguistic models.
Self-management Strategies Self-management strategies involve self-monitoring, self-evaluation, self-instruction, goal-setting, and strategy instruction to allow students to monitor and assess academic and behavioral performance. Self-management strategies open the door for the SLP and student to have meta-linguistic conversations and plan ways that the student can self-manage/monitor communication behaviors.
Technological Interventions Technology interventions involve using some form of computer-assisted instruction to teach a variety of academic skills to students (NSTTAC, 2010). Speech-language pathologists frequently use technology based augmented communication systems to help students communicate and to facilitate understanding by unfamiliar listeners.
Visual Displays Visual displays are representative tools used to facilitate learning and include graphic organizers, cognitive organizers, cognitive maps, structured overviews, tree diagrams, concept maps, picture schedules, and Thinking Maps. Speech-language pathologists frequently use visual prompts to support the use of specific communication skills.
Table 1. Evidence-Based Practices.
Evidence-Based Practices.×
Category Description of Practice Application Example
Backward Chaining Backward chaining is defined as a student performing the final behavior in a task analysis sequence and being reinforced once the task has been performed, at which time the next-to-last behavior is introduced to the student (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). In a grocery store, the student may begin with the last step as a bagger. “May I help you to your car?” Then move backwards to “Paper or Plastic bags?” and other questions that occur earlier in the job sequence.
Computer-Assisted Instruction Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is defined as using a computer or some other type of technology (e.g., personal digital assistant, hypermedia systems) to improve students' skills, knowledge, and academic performance (Okolo, Bahr, & Rieth, 1993). A student may use an assistive technology device, Dynavox, or iPad as a voice output device or self-model or prompt for a verbal response.
Community-Based Instruction Community-based instruction (CBI) is defined as instruction of functional skills that takes place within the community where target skills can be practiced within a natural environment (Brown et al., 1983). The SLP may go with the student to a nursing home to practice being a greeter and script and practice the anticipated greetings and other communication skills involved in the specific job.
Constant Time Delay Constant time delay (CTD) is defined as providing a student a fixed amount of time between instruction and giving a prompt in which the teacher initially presents multiple trials using a 0 sec delay followed by a simultaneous prompt condition using a fixed time delay (e.g., 3 sec or 5 sec; Cooper et al., 2007). The SLP will prompt the student with appropriate greeting responses as she learns to function as the greeter at the nursing home.
Forward Chaining Forward chaining is defined as teaching behaviors identified in a task analysis in their naturally occurring order. Reinforcement is delivered when the predetermined criterion for the first behavior in the sequence is achieved then the next step in the task analysis is taught (Cooper et al., 2007). The SLP teaches the student who is learning to be a grocery store bagger all the appropriate responses in the correct order. “Hello”, “Did you find everything you were looking for?”……
“One More Than” Strategy The “One More Than” strategy is defined as teaching students to pay one more dollar than requested (e.g., cost is $2.29, student would give $3.00; Denny & Test, 1995). The SLP may provide instruction on self-talk or self-prompting that the student will use to remind him/herself to use the “One More Than” strategy.
Parent Training Modules Parent training modules are described as training packages in which a single topic or a small section of a broad topic is studied for a given period of time to parents (Morsink, 1988). Speech-language pathologists often provide “homework” for students to practice. This may take the form of social stories or workplace “scripts.”
Progressive Time Delay Progressive time delay is defined as gradually increasing the amount of time between instruction and giving a prompt during which the teacher initially begins with a 0 sec delay followed by a simultaneous prompt condition that gradually and systematically increases the time delay (e.g., 0 sec to 2 sec to 4 sec; Cooper et al., 2007). As the student becomes more familiar with the language of the particular work place, the SLP may decrease the time between prompts to allow the student to become more independent in use of the appropriate language.
Published Curricula Four published curricula have been identified as evidence-based practices for teaching students to participate in and lead IEP meetings, be involved in the transition planning process, and gain self-determination skills (Test et al., 2004). They are the Self-Advocacy Strategy (Van Reusen, Bos, Schumaker, & Deshler, 2007), Self-Directed IEP (Martin, Marshall, Maxson, & Jerman, 1997), Whose Future is It Anyway? (Wehmeyer & Kelchner, 1995), and Check and Connect (Christenson, Stout, & Pohl, 2012) Speech-language pathologists can discuss, script, and rehearse possible communication opportunities for every student, enabling them to participate at their ability level in their IEP conferences or in determining their future.
Response Prompting Response prompting is defined as using stimuli that function as an extra cue or reminder for a desired behavior and is typically emitted in the form of verbal instructions, modeling, and/or physical guidance (Cooper et al., 2007). Many SLPs use picture cards or other visual prompts to encourage the student to use the desired language without verbal prompting.
Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI) The SDLMI is an instructional model that teaches students to become self-regulated learners in order to gain self-determination skills and includes three phases that provide students with opportunities to set a goal, develop a plan to address the goal, and evaluate changes to successfully meet the goal (Agran, Blanchard, & Wehmeyer, 2000). This tool provides an excellent opportunity for SLPs to “conference” with students about their communication goals and plan on a meta-linguistic level about reasonable goals and communication expectations for a particular work/social setting.
Self-Management Self-management is defined as monitoring or evaluating personal behavior in order to change and control a subsequent behavior (Cooper et al., 2007). Use of this strategy encourages students to monitor their own progress through independent data collection and self-assessment
Simulation Simulation is defined as using materials and situations in the classroom that approximate the natural environmental conditions where the behavior will be performed in the community (Bates, Cuvo, Miner, & Korabek, 2001). Many SLPs use this strategy frequently by contriving situations that simulate natural environments in order to practice communication skills. They then hopefully move to practicing skills in natural environments.
System of Least Prompts System of least prompts, or least to most prompts, is defined as a method in which the teacher begins with the least obtrusive prompt giving the student the opportunity to perform the response with little assistance, followed by a gradually increasing the level of prompting based on the degree of assistance the student needs to emit the appropriate response (Cooper et al., 2007). Speech-language pathologists frequently use this strategy by providing unobtrusive visual prompts that perhaps only the student and SLP will realize represent the use of fluency techniques or other desired communication enhancing skills.
System of Most Prompts System of most prompts, or most-to-least prompts, is defined as a method in which the teacher begins with the most obtrusive prompt (e.g., physical guidance) guiding the student through the performance sequence and gradually decreases the level of prompting as training progresses (Cooper et al., 2007). Sometimes SLPs find that for students to use communication strategies, strong and clear prompts are required but can hopefully be faded as students internalize the desired skills.
Total Task Training Total task chaining is defined as training a student on each step of a task analysis during every instructional setting (Cooper et al., 2007). Speech-language pathologists frequently provide a task analyses of a job including all the communication expectations of every step (i.e., all the steps to bagging groceries and all the questions that the bagger will ask the customer.)
Evidence-based Academic Interventions
Mnemonic Strategies Mnemonic strategies include memory-associative techniques, keyword mnemonic strategies, keyword-pegword, and reconstructive elaborations. Speech-language pathologists frequently use mnemonic devices as prompts to help students with a variety of skills. For example the editing strategy COPS stands for checking Capitalization, Organization, Punctuation, and Spelling.
Peer Assistance Peer assistance involves having a student deliver academic instruction to another student and includes peer tutoring, cooperative learning, and peer instruction. Speech-language pathologists often include peers as helpers or data collectors, communication skill monitors, or appropriate linguistic models.
Self-management Strategies Self-management strategies involve self-monitoring, self-evaluation, self-instruction, goal-setting, and strategy instruction to allow students to monitor and assess academic and behavioral performance. Self-management strategies open the door for the SLP and student to have meta-linguistic conversations and plan ways that the student can self-manage/monitor communication behaviors.
Technological Interventions Technology interventions involve using some form of computer-assisted instruction to teach a variety of academic skills to students (NSTTAC, 2010). Speech-language pathologists frequently use technology based augmented communication systems to help students communicate and to facilitate understanding by unfamiliar listeners.
Visual Displays Visual displays are representative tools used to facilitate learning and include graphic organizers, cognitive organizers, cognitive maps, structured overviews, tree diagrams, concept maps, picture schedules, and Thinking Maps. Speech-language pathologists frequently use visual prompts to support the use of specific communication skills.
×
Evidence-Based Predictors for Secondary Transition
In addition to the review of experimental and quasi-experimental literature, a review of correlational research related to secondary transition was conducted. Test, Mazzotti, et al. (2009)  reviewed correlational studies that incorporated in-school practices as the predictor variables and post-school outcomes as the outcome variable. They included 28 articles published in peer-reviewed journals beginning in 1985 and analyzed the effect of each predictor variable on the different categories of post-school outcomes (e.g., did inclusion in general education predict improved (a) employment, (b) postsecondary education, or (c) independent living?). The review resulted in a total of 16 predictors of post-school success.
To develop an operational definition for the 16 predictors, Rowe et al. (2014)  conducted a Delphi study. What follows are the operational definitions, an example from the research, and a suggestion for how SLPs can incorporate the predictor into their service delivery. See Table 2 for a list of each predictor and their correlation or lack of with the areas of post-school outcomes.
Table 2. Evidence-Based Predictors of Post-School Success for Students With Disabilities.
Evidence-Based Predictors of Post-School Success for Students With Disabilities.×
Predictor Education Employment Independent Living
Career Awareness X X
Community Experiences X
Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status X
Inclusion in General Education X X X
Interagency Collaboration X X
Occupational Courses X X
Paid Employment/Work Experience X X X
Parental Involvement X
Program of Study X
Self-Care/Independent Living Skills X X X
Self-Determination/Self-Advocacy X X
Social Skills X X
Student Support X X X
Transition Program X X
Vocational Education X X
Work Study X
Table 2. Evidence-Based Predictors of Post-School Success for Students With Disabilities.
Evidence-Based Predictors of Post-School Success for Students With Disabilities.×
Predictor Education Employment Independent Living
Career Awareness X X
Community Experiences X
Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status X
Inclusion in General Education X X X
Interagency Collaboration X X
Occupational Courses X X
Paid Employment/Work Experience X X X
Parental Involvement X
Program of Study X
Self-Care/Independent Living Skills X X X
Self-Determination/Self-Advocacy X X
Social Skills X X
Student Support X X X
Transition Program X X
Vocational Education X X
Work Study X
×
Career Awareness
“Career awareness is learning about opportunities, education, and skills needed in various occupational pathways to choose a career that matches one's strengths and interests” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 6). Examples included activities such as (a) job shadowing, (b) industry tours, (c) career awareness assessment, and (d) identifying skills necessary for employment. Success on a particular job may be very dependent on the communication skills of the worker. Therefore, SLPs might investigate job interests and opportunities for students in transition to support them in determining appropriate vocations. The SLP can then focus intervention on the exact communication skills required for success on the job.
Community Experiences
“Community experiences are activities occurring outside the school setting, supported with in-class instruction, where students apply academic, social, and/or general work behaviors and skills” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 8). The authors cited (a) providing meaningful experiences in the community, (b) using community-based instruction, (c) conducting ecological assessments, and (d) instructing students to safely navigate relevant community settings. Speech-language pathologists may be able to help schools identify and secure off-campus, community-based experiences. They may be able to go with students off campus to analyze the communication requirements of individual settings and support them in successful interactions at the community-based setting. Some community-based settings may include grocery stores, hardware stores, art studios, farms, factories, restaurants, college campuses, small businesses, bakeries, and coffee shops.
Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status
Rowe et al. (2014)  provided a definition of both terms. Exit exams were defined as “standardized state tests, assessing single content area (e.g., algebra, English) or multiple skill areas, with specified levels of proficiency that students must pass to obtain a high school diploma,” and diploma status was defined as being “achieved by completing the requirements of the state awarding the diploma including the completion of necessary core curriculum credits” (p. 8). Suggestions were made for assisting in meeting these requirements such as teaching (a) test-taking strategies and (b) how to request appropriate accommodations. Speech-language pathologists can be instrumental in helping students and their families navigate the intricacies of test-taking by teaching them how to request test accommodations and modifications that facilitate student success. They can also help in data analysis of standardized tests to identify strengths and areas of need that will inform educational, vocational, and intervention goal choices for the student.
Inclusion in General Education
“Inclusion in general education requires students with disabilities to have access to general education curriculum and be engaged in regular education classes with peers without disabilities” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 9). Inclusion can be more successful if: (a) teachers and paraprofessionals are trained to accommodate students with disabilities; and (b) the inclusion setting is assessed for skills students may need, including social and communication skills, and providing instruction to develop those skills. Speech-language pathologists serve students in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). They support student success in many different locations on and off campus including regular education classrooms, enrichment classes, work sites, clubs, social events, and sporting events to name a few. They work with other professionals to create communication rich environments and help students demonstrate competent situational communication.
Self-Care/Independent Living Skills
Self-care/independent living skills are skills necessary for management of one's personal self-care and daily independent living, including the personal management skills needed to interact with others, daily living skills, financial management skills, and the self-management of health care/wellness needs” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 9). Instruction in self-care/independent living skills includes targeting: (a) social roles; (b) developing community/peer relationships; (c) self-determination, including self-advocacy; (d) home maintenance; (e) cooking; (f) housekeeping; (g) financial planning; and (h) problem solving. Speech-language pathologists can assist students with self-care and independent living skills. They teach social communication skills and devise situations for students in transition to practice those communication skills. They create task analyses, picture schedules, and visual scaffolds for students to succeed in independent living or completion of work tasks.
Interagency Collaboration
“Interagency collaboration is a clear, purposeful, and carefully designed process that promotes cross-agency, cross-program, and cross-disciplinary collaborative efforts leading to tangible transition outcomes for youth” (Rowe et al., 2014, p.10). Interagency collaboration can include (a) developing interagency teams with a shared interest in transition services, (b) coordinating policies for service delivery and sharing resources, (c) scheduling regular planning time for shared transition service delivery, and (d) providing professional development across disciplines to ensure all members of the transition team are knowledgeable of the supports and services a student is eligible for or receiving. Speech-language pathologists can facilitate interagency collaboration because they have often developed a wealth of community based partners who they network with to connect students and families in transition with resources that foster success. Some of these partners include vocational rehabilitation counselors, health care providers, employers, admissions coordinators, college disability services personnel, and social workers. Speech-language pathologists can also provide formal and informal staff development for school and community-based collaborators on topics that support the communication needs of students in transition, which can include everything from proper etiquette to facilitating self-advocacy in natural environments.
Occupational Courses
“Occupational courses are individual courses that support career awareness, allow or enable students to explore various career pathways, develop occupational specific skills through instruction, and experiences focused on their desired employment goals” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 6). These courses can address a variety of skills in a variety of ways such as (a) embedding career awareness and assessment into the courses, (b) incorporating 21st-century technology, (c) allowing for community-based learning, and (d) providing flexible scheduling to avoid conflicts. Speech-language pathologists are often “guest lecturers” in occupational courses to talk about communication skills on job settings. They may even participate in these classes on a regular basis to deliver functional communication intervention that serves as IEP time for students who are on the SLP's roster.
Paid Employment/Work Experience
“Work experience is any activity that places the student in an authentic workplace and could include work sampling, job shadowing, internships, apprenticeships, and paid employment” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 6). The description continues, describing that work experience can include pre-existing or customized jobs, but must include competitive pay (i.e., at or above minimum wage) directly to the student by the employer. Work experience can be supported by: (a) instruction in soft skills such as communicating with coworkers/authority figures and receiving feedback; (b) instruction in job-specific skills; and (c) ensuring jobs are based on the students' strengths, needs, preferences, and interests by using age-appropriate assessment. Speech-language pathologists can collaborate with employers and job coaches to analyze the communication expectations of a workplace. Then they can work directly with students to help them identify and master the communication skills required to succeed and excel at their place of employment.
Parent Involvement
“Parent involvement means parents/families/guardians are active and knowledgeable participants in all aspects of transition planning (e.g., decision making, providing support, attending meetings, and advocating for their child)” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 10). Parent involvement can be cultivated through initiatives such as (a) developing ongoing communication with the parents concerning transition programming, (b) connecting parents with support networks, (c) sharing assessment results, and (d) providing training to parents so they can be provided additional training in the home for their child. Speech-language pathologists can support this predictor in multiple ways. First, they can help parents have realistic, high expectations for their children in transition. Second, they can help families set goals, network with community resources, and carry over communication skills to the home environment. Finally, they can help engineer the home with environmental symbols, agendas, task analyses, picture schedules, and other scaffolds to support success in communication-rich home environments.
Program of Study
“A program of study is an individualized set of courses, experiences, and curriculum designed to develop students' academic and functional achievement to support the attainment of students' desired post-school goals” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 9). More specifically, programs that had (a) a career major with a course sequence designed to facilitate an occupational goal, (b) cooperation between academic and vocational education, (c) experience in a school-sponsored employment enterprise, and (d) technical preparation in a program of study that links to postsecondary education have been shown to increase the probability students will have some type of employment after exiting secondary school (Shandra & Hogan, 2008). Speech-language patholgists can assist students' program of study by helping the entire IEP team know the communication expectations of each course, as well as what supports, accommodations, or modifications may be required for student success. They may also help in selecting courses that provide the right academic atmosphere for student success while targeting prerequisite skills to support student mastery of course content.
Self-Determination
“Self-determination is the ability to make choices, solve problems, set goals, evaluate options, take initiative to reach one's goals, and accept consequences of one's actions” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 9). Self-determination has been broken down into a set of component skills. These include: (a) choice making; (b) decision-making; (c) problem solving; (d) goal setting and attainment; (e) self-observation, self-evaluation, and self-reinforcement; (f) self-instruction; (g) self-advocacy and leadership; (h) internal locus of control; (i) positive attributions of efficacy and outcome expectancy; (j) self-awareness; and (k) self-knowledge (Wehmeyer, 1999). Speech-language pathologists play an important role in developing student self-determination skills by helping students formulate plans and communicate their ideas to all team members. Speech-language pathologists help students develop “inner talk” to think through the skills mentioned above. They then help students articulate their thoughts and decisions and negotiate with team members to come to thoughtfully considered decisions.
Social Skills
“Social skills are behaviors and attitudes that facilitate communication and cooperation” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 10). Social skills can be increased and supported in numerous ways. For instance, explicit instruction in communication or social skills can be used. Opportunities to practice these skills can be embedded throughout a student's day. The use of augmentative and alternative communication devices can be taught. Also, ecological assessments can be used to identify the social skills necessary for success after high school. Speech-language pathologists analyze a variety of environments to help students fully participate in social activities across settings. They may initiate and direct or consult with counselors, social workers, or school psychologists to establish and conduct social skills groups in school or community settings. They may provide instruction to peer tutors who connect with students at lunch or a variety of other times during the school day or beyond. They may help establish community support groups, reading clubs, or social groups for students in transition.
Student Support
“Student support is a network of people […] who provide services and resources in multiple environments to prepare students to obtain their annual transition and post-secondary goals aligned with their preferences, interests, and needs” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 11). Characteristics of programs to build student support can include (a) facilitating relationships with relevant people, (b) developing procedures for developing networks, and (c) connecting students with appropriate resources. Speech-language pathologists can support the success of students by helping to establish social networks during the school day and after. They may be the constant that helps these groups maintain longevity and continue over time as members flow in and out.
Transition Program
“A transition program prepares students to move from secondary settings […] to adult life, utilizing comprehensive transition planning and education that creates individualized opportunities, services, and supports to help students achieve their post-school goals in education/training, employment, and independent living” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 11). Transition programs include components such as (a) implementing age appropriate transition assessment, (b) providing instruction in areas necessary to succeed in of postsecondary life (i.e., education, employment, independent living), (c) infrastructure to support students and families, (d) interagency collaboration, and (e) opportunities to interact with peers without disabilities. Speech-language pathologists should be active members of the IEP team. They help members, including the student, recognize communication strengths and areas of need, as well as assist teams in creating reasonable goals for transition. They provide input on assessments and intervention goals that help students and families set reasonable and functional expectations for the future.
Vocational Education
“Vocational education is a sequence of courses that prepares students for a specific job or career at various levels from trade or craft positions to technical, business, or professional careers” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 7). A strong vocational education program will (a) provide a sequence of courses to build a student's skills, (b) incorporate in-school and community-based learning opportunities, (c) connect students with postsecondary and employment opportunities, (d) provide career guidance for students, and (e) ensure progress in soft skills (e.g., problem solving, communication with authority). As mentioned previously, SLPs who work with this population have developed many community partners. Therefore, they can support vocational education by helping to train these partners in the communication needs of students who are moving into vocational placements. Additionally, SLPs can help community partners interpret vocational assessments with a focus on communication needs. Then, SLPs can assist these partners in making decisions regarding the best placement for particular student, and help work sites modify or adapt for the particular communication needs of the individual.
Work Study
“A work study program is a specified sequence of work skills instruction and experiences designed to develop students' work attitudes and general work behaviors by providing students with mutually supportive and integrated academic and vocational instruction” (Rowe et al., 2014, p. 7). Work study programs: (a) provide opportunities for paid experience on- and off-campus; (b) provide supports to develop appropriate work behavior; (c) match work experiences to student preferences, interests, needs, and strengths; (d) provide instruction opportunities to self-manage and reflect on performance; and (e) provide transportation. Although another professional (e.g., special educator) is typically responsible for arranging community placement, SLPs can help match students with work study sites that will be a good fit for the individual's strengths and communication abilities. They can do this by conducting on site observations and helping students acquire communication skills that will make them successful on the job. They can also help employers support students to be successful workplace communicators.
Discussion
The purpose of this article is to aid SLPs in delivering evidence-based secondary transition services. Because the fields of speech-language pathology and secondary transition are focused on providing intervention based on scientific research, the evidence-based practices and predictors in secondary transition were described along with suggestions concerning how to incorporate those practices and predictors into speech-language service delivery. This information provides SLPs with tools that are supported by quality research that can be used when working with transition-aged students with disabilities. The 21 practices and 16 predictors described here provide SLPs with validated resources to use when working with secondary students. The practices can be used in instructional service delivery to meet relevant SLP goals, while the predictors can provide areas to target and consider when designing goals and interventions.
Whereas all of the practices and predictors are supported by high-quality research, some have a greater support than others. The study that identified the predictors (Test, Mazzotti et al., 2009) categorized their findings as having moderate or promising levels of evidence. The highest level of evidence a predictor could attain was moderate because they were based on correlation research, which is unable to confer the same level of causality as experimental research. Four of the predictors correlated with improved postsecondary education had moderate levels of evidence (i.e., inclusion in general education, paid employment/work experience, transition program, vocational education) and seven had potential levels of evidence (i.e., career awareness, interagency collaboration, occupational course, self-advocacy/self-determination, self-care/independent living, social skills, student support). For the predictors supporting postsecondary employment outcomes four had moderate levels of evidence (i.e., inclusion in general education, paid employment/work experience, vocational education, work study) and the remaining had potential levels (i.e., career awareness, occupational courses, community experiences, exit exam requirements/high school diploma status, program of study, self-determination/self-advocacy, self-care/independent living skills, social skills, interagency collaboration, involvement, student support, transition program). Finally, two predictors that were correlated with improved independent living had moderate levels of evidence (i.e., inclusion in general education, self-care/independent living) and two had potential levels of evidence (i.e., paid employment/work experience, student support). For a description of the research supporting the various practices, see the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition's (NTACT) Effective Practices and Predictors Matrix (NTACT, 2016).
While practitioners should prioritize practices and predictors with greater levels of evidence, they should feel assured in using any of them as they are all supported by high-quality research. Additionally, SLPs should feel confident using these resources as their incorporation in practice aligns well with the ASHA (2005)  definition of evidence-based speech-language pathology practice by integrating high-quality research into the decision-making process.
Implications for Practice
While it is undeniably important for students to be successful in their current educational setting, that setting is only temporary. The majority of students' lives will be lived after exiting high school. Therefore, for secondary students with disabilities to be successful after exiting high school it is critically important for all providers, SLPs included, to be aware of students' postsecondary prospects and work to facilitate success in these future settings. These settings may include postsecondary employment, education, and living situations. Furthermore, providers should employ the evidence-based predictors and practices described here when appropriate to their particular role. For a list of the major roles SLPs perform and predictors that are related to those roles see Table 3 (ASHA, 2010).
Table 3. SLP Major Roles and Related Predictors.
SLP Major Roles and Related Predictors.×
SLP Role Related Predictor(s)
Prevention • Community Experiences
• Inclusion in General Education
• Interagency Collaboration
• Occupational Courses
• Paid Employment/Work Experience
• Parental Involvement
• Social Skills
• Student Support
• Vocational Education
• Work Study
Assessment • Community Experiences
• Transition Program
• Vocational Education
• Work Study
Intervention • Career Awareness
• Occupational Courses
• Paid Employment/Work Experience
• Social Skills
• Self-Determination/Self-Advocacy
• Self-Care/Independent Living Skills
• Work Study
Program design • Parental Involvement
• Program of Study
• Transition Program
• Vocational Education
Data collection and Analysis • Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status
Compliance • Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status
• Parental Involvement
Table 3. SLP Major Roles and Related Predictors.
SLP Major Roles and Related Predictors.×
SLP Role Related Predictor(s)
Prevention • Community Experiences
• Inclusion in General Education
• Interagency Collaboration
• Occupational Courses
• Paid Employment/Work Experience
• Parental Involvement
• Social Skills
• Student Support
• Vocational Education
• Work Study
Assessment • Community Experiences
• Transition Program
• Vocational Education
• Work Study
Intervention • Career Awareness
• Occupational Courses
• Paid Employment/Work Experience
• Social Skills
• Self-Determination/Self-Advocacy
• Self-Care/Independent Living Skills
• Work Study
Program design • Parental Involvement
• Program of Study
• Transition Program
• Vocational Education
Data collection and Analysis • Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status
Compliance • Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status
• Parental Involvement
×
Although the call for SLPs to use these evidence-based practices and predictors is simple in theory, there are challenges that make the delivery of SLP services with transition aged students difficult. For instance, SLPs may experience difficulty both choosing appropriate goals and strategies, as well as delivering those interventions effectively within the complex schedules of secondary students (Flynn, 2013). This can make it difficult for SLPs to know what postsecondary goals to target as they use the practices and predictors presented in this article. Given these challenges, there is clearly a need for increased collaboration between SLPs and special educators who implement transition services (e.g., special education teacher, transition specialist). This collaboration can assist SLPs in becoming familiar with students' postsecondary goals, current skill levels, and opportunities during students' daily schedules for relevant delivery of services. Conversely, collaboration can make special educators more aware of the communication demands in various settings, as well as demonstrate effective strategies to increase students' capacity to meet communication demands.
Another challenge to consider is the limited time available. Many SLPs wonder “How is service like this in natural environments for students in transition from high school possible given the demands of workload and many students to served?” Though challenging, truly serving all students in the LRE is a tenant of the IDEA. The shift to serving students in classrooms, on job sites, and in other less restrictive environments than the speech “closet,” often used due to administrative convenience, requires a shift in the mindset of the therapist, administration, and school culture. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association offers guidance on how to shift this mindset through the workload approach to school service delivery (ASHA, n.d.). For instance, SLPs can request leave, compensatory time, or time away from school on workdays to serve students at off-campus work sites. As such, SLPs can use the ASHA workload model to change the culture of their school to one that represents a 21st-century approach to school-based service delivery.
Conclusion
Post-school outcomes for students with disabilities have been poor for some time. To combat this issue, these students require effective intervention from a variety of professionals to prepare them for success after leaving school. Fortunately, research has identified practices and predictors that have shown to improve these post-school outcomes. By incorporating these evidence-based practices and predictors into their practice, SLPs can help improve the outcomes for students with disabilities.
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Test, D. W., Mason, C., Hughes, C., Konrad, M., Neale, M., & Wood, W. M. (2004). Student involvement in individualized education program meetings. Exceptional Children, 70, 391–412.×
Test, D. W., Mazzotti, V. L., Mustian, A. L., Fowler, C. H., Kortering, L., & Kohler, P. (2009). Evidence-based secondary transition predictors for improving postschool outcomes for students with disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32, 160–181. [Article]
Test, D. W., Mazzotti, V. L., Mustian, A. L., Fowler, C. H., Kortering, L., & Kohler, P. (2009). Evidence-based secondary transition predictors for improving postschool outcomes for students with disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32, 160–181. [Article] ×
Van Reusen, A. K., Bos, C. S., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (2007). The self-advocacy strategy: For enhancing student motivation & self-determination. Lawrence, KS: Edge Enterprises.
Van Reusen, A. K., Bos, C. S., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (2007). The self-advocacy strategy: For enhancing student motivation & self-determination. Lawrence, KS: Edge Enterprises.×
Wehmeyer, M. L. (1999). A functional model of self-determination: Describing development and implementing intervention. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 14, 53–61. [Article]
Wehmeyer, M. L. (1999). A functional model of self-determination: Describing development and implementing intervention. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 14, 53–61. [Article] ×
Wehmeyer, M., & Kelchner, K. (1995). Whose future is it anyway? A student-directed transition planning process. Arlington, TX: Arc.
Wehmeyer, M., & Kelchner, K. (1995). Whose future is it anyway? A student-directed transition planning process. Arlington, TX: Arc.×
Table 1. Evidence-Based Practices.
Evidence-Based Practices.×
Category Description of Practice Application Example
Backward Chaining Backward chaining is defined as a student performing the final behavior in a task analysis sequence and being reinforced once the task has been performed, at which time the next-to-last behavior is introduced to the student (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). In a grocery store, the student may begin with the last step as a bagger. “May I help you to your car?” Then move backwards to “Paper or Plastic bags?” and other questions that occur earlier in the job sequence.
Computer-Assisted Instruction Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is defined as using a computer or some other type of technology (e.g., personal digital assistant, hypermedia systems) to improve students' skills, knowledge, and academic performance (Okolo, Bahr, & Rieth, 1993). A student may use an assistive technology device, Dynavox, or iPad as a voice output device or self-model or prompt for a verbal response.
Community-Based Instruction Community-based instruction (CBI) is defined as instruction of functional skills that takes place within the community where target skills can be practiced within a natural environment (Brown et al., 1983). The SLP may go with the student to a nursing home to practice being a greeter and script and practice the anticipated greetings and other communication skills involved in the specific job.
Constant Time Delay Constant time delay (CTD) is defined as providing a student a fixed amount of time between instruction and giving a prompt in which the teacher initially presents multiple trials using a 0 sec delay followed by a simultaneous prompt condition using a fixed time delay (e.g., 3 sec or 5 sec; Cooper et al., 2007). The SLP will prompt the student with appropriate greeting responses as she learns to function as the greeter at the nursing home.
Forward Chaining Forward chaining is defined as teaching behaviors identified in a task analysis in their naturally occurring order. Reinforcement is delivered when the predetermined criterion for the first behavior in the sequence is achieved then the next step in the task analysis is taught (Cooper et al., 2007). The SLP teaches the student who is learning to be a grocery store bagger all the appropriate responses in the correct order. “Hello”, “Did you find everything you were looking for?”……
“One More Than” Strategy The “One More Than” strategy is defined as teaching students to pay one more dollar than requested (e.g., cost is $2.29, student would give $3.00; Denny & Test, 1995). The SLP may provide instruction on self-talk or self-prompting that the student will use to remind him/herself to use the “One More Than” strategy.
Parent Training Modules Parent training modules are described as training packages in which a single topic or a small section of a broad topic is studied for a given period of time to parents (Morsink, 1988). Speech-language pathologists often provide “homework” for students to practice. This may take the form of social stories or workplace “scripts.”
Progressive Time Delay Progressive time delay is defined as gradually increasing the amount of time between instruction and giving a prompt during which the teacher initially begins with a 0 sec delay followed by a simultaneous prompt condition that gradually and systematically increases the time delay (e.g., 0 sec to 2 sec to 4 sec; Cooper et al., 2007). As the student becomes more familiar with the language of the particular work place, the SLP may decrease the time between prompts to allow the student to become more independent in use of the appropriate language.
Published Curricula Four published curricula have been identified as evidence-based practices for teaching students to participate in and lead IEP meetings, be involved in the transition planning process, and gain self-determination skills (Test et al., 2004). They are the Self-Advocacy Strategy (Van Reusen, Bos, Schumaker, & Deshler, 2007), Self-Directed IEP (Martin, Marshall, Maxson, & Jerman, 1997), Whose Future is It Anyway? (Wehmeyer & Kelchner, 1995), and Check and Connect (Christenson, Stout, & Pohl, 2012) Speech-language pathologists can discuss, script, and rehearse possible communication opportunities for every student, enabling them to participate at their ability level in their IEP conferences or in determining their future.
Response Prompting Response prompting is defined as using stimuli that function as an extra cue or reminder for a desired behavior and is typically emitted in the form of verbal instructions, modeling, and/or physical guidance (Cooper et al., 2007). Many SLPs use picture cards or other visual prompts to encourage the student to use the desired language without verbal prompting.
Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI) The SDLMI is an instructional model that teaches students to become self-regulated learners in order to gain self-determination skills and includes three phases that provide students with opportunities to set a goal, develop a plan to address the goal, and evaluate changes to successfully meet the goal (Agran, Blanchard, & Wehmeyer, 2000). This tool provides an excellent opportunity for SLPs to “conference” with students about their communication goals and plan on a meta-linguistic level about reasonable goals and communication expectations for a particular work/social setting.
Self-Management Self-management is defined as monitoring or evaluating personal behavior in order to change and control a subsequent behavior (Cooper et al., 2007). Use of this strategy encourages students to monitor their own progress through independent data collection and self-assessment
Simulation Simulation is defined as using materials and situations in the classroom that approximate the natural environmental conditions where the behavior will be performed in the community (Bates, Cuvo, Miner, & Korabek, 2001). Many SLPs use this strategy frequently by contriving situations that simulate natural environments in order to practice communication skills. They then hopefully move to practicing skills in natural environments.
System of Least Prompts System of least prompts, or least to most prompts, is defined as a method in which the teacher begins with the least obtrusive prompt giving the student the opportunity to perform the response with little assistance, followed by a gradually increasing the level of prompting based on the degree of assistance the student needs to emit the appropriate response (Cooper et al., 2007). Speech-language pathologists frequently use this strategy by providing unobtrusive visual prompts that perhaps only the student and SLP will realize represent the use of fluency techniques or other desired communication enhancing skills.
System of Most Prompts System of most prompts, or most-to-least prompts, is defined as a method in which the teacher begins with the most obtrusive prompt (e.g., physical guidance) guiding the student through the performance sequence and gradually decreases the level of prompting as training progresses (Cooper et al., 2007). Sometimes SLPs find that for students to use communication strategies, strong and clear prompts are required but can hopefully be faded as students internalize the desired skills.
Total Task Training Total task chaining is defined as training a student on each step of a task analysis during every instructional setting (Cooper et al., 2007). Speech-language pathologists frequently provide a task analyses of a job including all the communication expectations of every step (i.e., all the steps to bagging groceries and all the questions that the bagger will ask the customer.)
Evidence-based Academic Interventions
Mnemonic Strategies Mnemonic strategies include memory-associative techniques, keyword mnemonic strategies, keyword-pegword, and reconstructive elaborations. Speech-language pathologists frequently use mnemonic devices as prompts to help students with a variety of skills. For example the editing strategy COPS stands for checking Capitalization, Organization, Punctuation, and Spelling.
Peer Assistance Peer assistance involves having a student deliver academic instruction to another student and includes peer tutoring, cooperative learning, and peer instruction. Speech-language pathologists often include peers as helpers or data collectors, communication skill monitors, or appropriate linguistic models.
Self-management Strategies Self-management strategies involve self-monitoring, self-evaluation, self-instruction, goal-setting, and strategy instruction to allow students to monitor and assess academic and behavioral performance. Self-management strategies open the door for the SLP and student to have meta-linguistic conversations and plan ways that the student can self-manage/monitor communication behaviors.
Technological Interventions Technology interventions involve using some form of computer-assisted instruction to teach a variety of academic skills to students (NSTTAC, 2010). Speech-language pathologists frequently use technology based augmented communication systems to help students communicate and to facilitate understanding by unfamiliar listeners.
Visual Displays Visual displays are representative tools used to facilitate learning and include graphic organizers, cognitive organizers, cognitive maps, structured overviews, tree diagrams, concept maps, picture schedules, and Thinking Maps. Speech-language pathologists frequently use visual prompts to support the use of specific communication skills.
Table 1. Evidence-Based Practices.
Evidence-Based Practices.×
Category Description of Practice Application Example
Backward Chaining Backward chaining is defined as a student performing the final behavior in a task analysis sequence and being reinforced once the task has been performed, at which time the next-to-last behavior is introduced to the student (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). In a grocery store, the student may begin with the last step as a bagger. “May I help you to your car?” Then move backwards to “Paper or Plastic bags?” and other questions that occur earlier in the job sequence.
Computer-Assisted Instruction Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is defined as using a computer or some other type of technology (e.g., personal digital assistant, hypermedia systems) to improve students' skills, knowledge, and academic performance (Okolo, Bahr, & Rieth, 1993). A student may use an assistive technology device, Dynavox, or iPad as a voice output device or self-model or prompt for a verbal response.
Community-Based Instruction Community-based instruction (CBI) is defined as instruction of functional skills that takes place within the community where target skills can be practiced within a natural environment (Brown et al., 1983). The SLP may go with the student to a nursing home to practice being a greeter and script and practice the anticipated greetings and other communication skills involved in the specific job.
Constant Time Delay Constant time delay (CTD) is defined as providing a student a fixed amount of time between instruction and giving a prompt in which the teacher initially presents multiple trials using a 0 sec delay followed by a simultaneous prompt condition using a fixed time delay (e.g., 3 sec or 5 sec; Cooper et al., 2007). The SLP will prompt the student with appropriate greeting responses as she learns to function as the greeter at the nursing home.
Forward Chaining Forward chaining is defined as teaching behaviors identified in a task analysis in their naturally occurring order. Reinforcement is delivered when the predetermined criterion for the first behavior in the sequence is achieved then the next step in the task analysis is taught (Cooper et al., 2007). The SLP teaches the student who is learning to be a grocery store bagger all the appropriate responses in the correct order. “Hello”, “Did you find everything you were looking for?”……
“One More Than” Strategy The “One More Than” strategy is defined as teaching students to pay one more dollar than requested (e.g., cost is $2.29, student would give $3.00; Denny & Test, 1995). The SLP may provide instruction on self-talk or self-prompting that the student will use to remind him/herself to use the “One More Than” strategy.
Parent Training Modules Parent training modules are described as training packages in which a single topic or a small section of a broad topic is studied for a given period of time to parents (Morsink, 1988). Speech-language pathologists often provide “homework” for students to practice. This may take the form of social stories or workplace “scripts.”
Progressive Time Delay Progressive time delay is defined as gradually increasing the amount of time between instruction and giving a prompt during which the teacher initially begins with a 0 sec delay followed by a simultaneous prompt condition that gradually and systematically increases the time delay (e.g., 0 sec to 2 sec to 4 sec; Cooper et al., 2007). As the student becomes more familiar with the language of the particular work place, the SLP may decrease the time between prompts to allow the student to become more independent in use of the appropriate language.
Published Curricula Four published curricula have been identified as evidence-based practices for teaching students to participate in and lead IEP meetings, be involved in the transition planning process, and gain self-determination skills (Test et al., 2004). They are the Self-Advocacy Strategy (Van Reusen, Bos, Schumaker, & Deshler, 2007), Self-Directed IEP (Martin, Marshall, Maxson, & Jerman, 1997), Whose Future is It Anyway? (Wehmeyer & Kelchner, 1995), and Check and Connect (Christenson, Stout, & Pohl, 2012) Speech-language pathologists can discuss, script, and rehearse possible communication opportunities for every student, enabling them to participate at their ability level in their IEP conferences or in determining their future.
Response Prompting Response prompting is defined as using stimuli that function as an extra cue or reminder for a desired behavior and is typically emitted in the form of verbal instructions, modeling, and/or physical guidance (Cooper et al., 2007). Many SLPs use picture cards or other visual prompts to encourage the student to use the desired language without verbal prompting.
Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI) The SDLMI is an instructional model that teaches students to become self-regulated learners in order to gain self-determination skills and includes three phases that provide students with opportunities to set a goal, develop a plan to address the goal, and evaluate changes to successfully meet the goal (Agran, Blanchard, & Wehmeyer, 2000). This tool provides an excellent opportunity for SLPs to “conference” with students about their communication goals and plan on a meta-linguistic level about reasonable goals and communication expectations for a particular work/social setting.
Self-Management Self-management is defined as monitoring or evaluating personal behavior in order to change and control a subsequent behavior (Cooper et al., 2007). Use of this strategy encourages students to monitor their own progress through independent data collection and self-assessment
Simulation Simulation is defined as using materials and situations in the classroom that approximate the natural environmental conditions where the behavior will be performed in the community (Bates, Cuvo, Miner, & Korabek, 2001). Many SLPs use this strategy frequently by contriving situations that simulate natural environments in order to practice communication skills. They then hopefully move to practicing skills in natural environments.
System of Least Prompts System of least prompts, or least to most prompts, is defined as a method in which the teacher begins with the least obtrusive prompt giving the student the opportunity to perform the response with little assistance, followed by a gradually increasing the level of prompting based on the degree of assistance the student needs to emit the appropriate response (Cooper et al., 2007). Speech-language pathologists frequently use this strategy by providing unobtrusive visual prompts that perhaps only the student and SLP will realize represent the use of fluency techniques or other desired communication enhancing skills.
System of Most Prompts System of most prompts, or most-to-least prompts, is defined as a method in which the teacher begins with the most obtrusive prompt (e.g., physical guidance) guiding the student through the performance sequence and gradually decreases the level of prompting as training progresses (Cooper et al., 2007). Sometimes SLPs find that for students to use communication strategies, strong and clear prompts are required but can hopefully be faded as students internalize the desired skills.
Total Task Training Total task chaining is defined as training a student on each step of a task analysis during every instructional setting (Cooper et al., 2007). Speech-language pathologists frequently provide a task analyses of a job including all the communication expectations of every step (i.e., all the steps to bagging groceries and all the questions that the bagger will ask the customer.)
Evidence-based Academic Interventions
Mnemonic Strategies Mnemonic strategies include memory-associative techniques, keyword mnemonic strategies, keyword-pegword, and reconstructive elaborations. Speech-language pathologists frequently use mnemonic devices as prompts to help students with a variety of skills. For example the editing strategy COPS stands for checking Capitalization, Organization, Punctuation, and Spelling.
Peer Assistance Peer assistance involves having a student deliver academic instruction to another student and includes peer tutoring, cooperative learning, and peer instruction. Speech-language pathologists often include peers as helpers or data collectors, communication skill monitors, or appropriate linguistic models.
Self-management Strategies Self-management strategies involve self-monitoring, self-evaluation, self-instruction, goal-setting, and strategy instruction to allow students to monitor and assess academic and behavioral performance. Self-management strategies open the door for the SLP and student to have meta-linguistic conversations and plan ways that the student can self-manage/monitor communication behaviors.
Technological Interventions Technology interventions involve using some form of computer-assisted instruction to teach a variety of academic skills to students (NSTTAC, 2010). Speech-language pathologists frequently use technology based augmented communication systems to help students communicate and to facilitate understanding by unfamiliar listeners.
Visual Displays Visual displays are representative tools used to facilitate learning and include graphic organizers, cognitive organizers, cognitive maps, structured overviews, tree diagrams, concept maps, picture schedules, and Thinking Maps. Speech-language pathologists frequently use visual prompts to support the use of specific communication skills.
×
Table 2. Evidence-Based Predictors of Post-School Success for Students With Disabilities.
Evidence-Based Predictors of Post-School Success for Students With Disabilities.×
Predictor Education Employment Independent Living
Career Awareness X X
Community Experiences X
Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status X
Inclusion in General Education X X X
Interagency Collaboration X X
Occupational Courses X X
Paid Employment/Work Experience X X X
Parental Involvement X
Program of Study X
Self-Care/Independent Living Skills X X X
Self-Determination/Self-Advocacy X X
Social Skills X X
Student Support X X X
Transition Program X X
Vocational Education X X
Work Study X
Table 2. Evidence-Based Predictors of Post-School Success for Students With Disabilities.
Evidence-Based Predictors of Post-School Success for Students With Disabilities.×
Predictor Education Employment Independent Living
Career Awareness X X
Community Experiences X
Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status X
Inclusion in General Education X X X
Interagency Collaboration X X
Occupational Courses X X
Paid Employment/Work Experience X X X
Parental Involvement X
Program of Study X
Self-Care/Independent Living Skills X X X
Self-Determination/Self-Advocacy X X
Social Skills X X
Student Support X X X
Transition Program X X
Vocational Education X X
Work Study X
×
Table 3. SLP Major Roles and Related Predictors.
SLP Major Roles and Related Predictors.×
SLP Role Related Predictor(s)
Prevention • Community Experiences
• Inclusion in General Education
• Interagency Collaboration
• Occupational Courses
• Paid Employment/Work Experience
• Parental Involvement
• Social Skills
• Student Support
• Vocational Education
• Work Study
Assessment • Community Experiences
• Transition Program
• Vocational Education
• Work Study
Intervention • Career Awareness
• Occupational Courses
• Paid Employment/Work Experience
• Social Skills
• Self-Determination/Self-Advocacy
• Self-Care/Independent Living Skills
• Work Study
Program design • Parental Involvement
• Program of Study
• Transition Program
• Vocational Education
Data collection and Analysis • Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status
Compliance • Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status
• Parental Involvement
Table 3. SLP Major Roles and Related Predictors.
SLP Major Roles and Related Predictors.×
SLP Role Related Predictor(s)
Prevention • Community Experiences
• Inclusion in General Education
• Interagency Collaboration
• Occupational Courses
• Paid Employment/Work Experience
• Parental Involvement
• Social Skills
• Student Support
• Vocational Education
• Work Study
Assessment • Community Experiences
• Transition Program
• Vocational Education
• Work Study
Intervention • Career Awareness
• Occupational Courses
• Paid Employment/Work Experience
• Social Skills
• Self-Determination/Self-Advocacy
• Self-Care/Independent Living Skills
• Work Study
Program design • Parental Involvement
• Program of Study
• Transition Program
• Vocational Education
Data collection and Analysis • Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status
Compliance • Exit Exam Requirements/High School Diploma Status
• Parental Involvement
×
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