Transition Time

by Dale Pennell

The Transition Behavior Scale IEP and Intervention Manual (McCarney, 1995) identifies 54 common behaviors that interfere with the independent living and employment of students with disabilities. The intent of the manual is to provide goals, objectives, and intervention strategies for these problematic behaviors. Goals and objectives listed in the manual serve as examples that may be used in writing IEPs for special needs students preparing for transition. Suggested interventions, in turn, serve as a guide for program development or change for any student needing behavior improvement.

The material contained in The Transition Behavior Scale IEP and Intervention Manual is designed for use following a administration of the Transition Behavior Scale, but is useful even if other diagnostic assessment methods are used. Once appropriate goals and objectives have been selected, users are provided with intervention strategies aligned with the goals and objectives. Some interventions represent preventive measures; others are reactive in nature. Certain interventions apply to most students and provide a general approach to problem reduction whereas others are mores specific and appropriately used to address individual students' needs. Attempts have been made to provide interventions that contribute to improvement of behavior, especially when used by a student's teachers in all educational settings to ensure instructional continuity.


Demonstrate the ability to follow a routine

Possible Goal:
  1. The student will demonstrate the ability to follow a routine.

Possible Objectives:
  1. The student will follow a routine with physical assistance on ___ out of ___ trials.

  2. The student will follow a routine with verbal reminders on ___ out of ___ trials.

  3. The student will independently follow a routine on ___ out of ___ trials.

  4. The student will rely on environmental cues to follow a routine (e.g., class schedule, school schedule, bells, lights turned off on clock) on ___ out of ___ trials.


(A list of 36 strategies is given in the manual. Samples include the following:)

  • Discuss any necessary changes in the student's routine well in advance of the occurrence of the changes.

  • Identify a peer to act as a model for the student to imitate the ability to follow a routine.

McCarney, S. B. (1995) The Transition Behavior Scale IEP and Intervention Manual. Columbia: Hawthorne.

This manual may be checked out from the T/TAC library. It may be purchased by contacting: Hawthorne Educational Services, Inc., 800 Gray Oak Drive, Columbus, MO 65201. Call: 1-573-874-1710, Fax: 1-800-442-9509.

Date: November/December 2001