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Navigating Down Syndrome

IEP & Transition Plans




The IEP and Why it is Important

Educating Your Child. After a child turns three years of age, the public school system becomes responsible for educating the child and addressing their unique needs related to their disability. Students with disabilities can remain in public school until the end of the school year they turn 21 or receive a regular high school diploma, whichever comes first. 

Custom IEPs. An IEP or Individualized Education Program lays out the special education instruction, supports, and services a student needs to thrive in school. It should be tailored to the individual student to provide the maximum benefit.

Effective IEPs. An effective IEP cannot be developed without parents and schools working together to benefit the child. For more information about IEPs, the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation teaches a Down to Learn Workshop that educates parents about IEPs. In addition, the Utah Parent Center has excellent information about IEPs on its website called IEP 101: Getting Started.

Learn More About IEPs At:

IEP & Transition Plans


When a child turns 14, the school district must assist the student with a transition plan, which becomes part of the IEP. A well-written transition plan is a roadmap for the child’s future and addresses employability, further training, and independent living skills. Parents, guardians, and the child should start discussing the child’s future as early as 12 years of age.

The Utah State Board of Education has a website and an app called Transition Elevated that helps students, parents, and educators create a tailored transition plan. The app can be found on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store (the photo above is what the app looks like). 

Padlet. The Utah State Board of Education has created a padlet (online notice board) that has short videos and documents on using the Transition Elevated website and app, creating a transition plan, and providing helpful guidance. Training on using the app and website has been offered and provided to special education instructors and other professional staff. Ask your child’s IEP team if they know about the website and use the app.



Sample Post-Transition Plan

PINS. According to the Transition Elevated website, “the transition plan must be focused on the student’s preferences, interests, needs, and strengths (PINS). It should also include goals and timelines for IEP team members to follow. This will help make sure progress is being made towards the student’s transition goals.

Wants & Needs. At age 14 or younger, the student should discuss their transition planning wants and needs before the IEP team meeting. The IEP team develops the transition plan during the IEP team meeting. The transition plan is a legal part of the IEP and must be attached to the school's IEP to the student and family.

Click on the boy photo above to download a sample of a Transition Plan. 


Utah Dept of Human Services Stabilization & Mobile Response 1(833) SAFE-FAM (723-3326) if a child is bullied, withdrawn from friends or peers, experiences depression and anxiety, and more. Call line is available 24/7 for any child, parent, or caregiver with any problem at any time. 


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