LC Journal of Special Education


Gerin Martin


The purpose of this paper is to explore the issues that surround transitioning young children with special needs from early childhood special education (ECSE) programs to kindergarten classrooms in the public schools. IDEA 2004 mandates that families and service providers transitioning children from Part C to Part B begin individualized transition planning nine months prior to the transition. However, outside of Head Start regulations, there is no legal premise mandating individualized transition plans for children transitioning from ECSE programs to kindergarten (Rosenkoetter, Hains, & Dogaru, 2007). Although young children eligible for special education undergo many transitions prior to kindergarten, this paper will solely focus on the transition from ECSE programs to kindergarten. First, this paper will examine what a typical transition from an early childhood education (ECE) setting to kindergarten looks like, including the school readiness skills necessary for young children to experience successful transitions. Second, this paper will look at the implications those skills have on children with developmental disabilities. Third, this paper will review models for best practice transition planning and potential road blocks for successful transition planning. Lastly, this paper will include a discussion of the impacts of transition planning for ECSE service providers and specific recommendations for ECSE educational practice.