Individuals with disabilities experience poorer postschool outcomes compared with their peers without disabilities. Youth with orthopedic or physical disabilities experience challenges during transition particularly in the areas of education and employment. Physical therapists should continue to become more involved in transition planning and providing services for transition-age students with physical disabilities. The purpose of this article is to clarify the role of physical therapists who work with students who have disabilities, as they transition from high school to postsecondary roles as well as provide the current evidence-based predictors of postschool success and recommended practices to school-based physical therapists who work with these students.
Summary of Key Points:
Evidence-based instructional practices for secondary students with disabilities and identified in-school predictors of postschool success for students with disabilities are aligned with effective practices for physical therapists. Additionally, suggestions for involving physical therapists in transition planning and increasing collaboration in providing transition services for students with disabilities are provided.
Statement of Conclusions:
Physical therapists can provide critical expertise for many individuals with disabilities; however, they are not always included effectively in transition planning and services for students with disabilities.
Recommendations for Clinical Practice:
Recommendations for practice include ways to involve physical therapists in transition planning and services and increasing collaboration between teachers, physical therapists, and other members of the Individualized Education Program team to provide effective, comprehensive transition services.