Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


The involvement of related service personnel (such as occupational therapists) in the transition planning process for children with disabilities has consistently been reported as low. The purpose for this pilot study was to (a) compare Masters-level occupational therapy student knowledge of transition-related terminology to practicing therapists and (b) determine what perceived barriers students have as it relates to transition planning. A one-shot case study design was used to collect data. Occupational therapy students participated in a one-hour lecture on transition planning and a three-hour lab wherein they learned how to administer transition planning inventories. Afterwards, they completed a brief survey in order to determine whether or not the perceived barriers identified by student occupational therapists aligned with what practicing occupational therapists have identified. Occupational therapy student understanding of transition-related terminology varied from what occupational therapy practitioners reported, and perceived barriers continue to exist among occupational therapy students. Additional training is needed at the collegiate level in order to improve understanding of transition-related terminology and address perceived barriers to involvement in the transition planning process.


Patrick A. Leytham, PhD, BCBA, LBA, ACUE is an Associate Professor of special education at Touro University Nevada and the Behavior Analytic Clinical Supervisor in the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Previously he taught exceptional children in a K-12 educational setting. Currently his research work is focused on improving educator preparation programs, identifying reading strategies for children with ASD, and engaging in interdisciplinary research.

Robyn Otty, OTD, OTR/L, BCPR is an Associate Professor and Director of the School of Occupational Therapy at Touro University Nevada. Past discipline specific research included examining the efficacy of handwriting programs, effectiveness of wellness program in an after-school setting, and perceptions of occupational therapists using task-based assessment tools in an acute care setting.

Declaration of Interest

The authors do not have any interests that might be interpreted as influencing the research, and APA ethical standards were followed in the conduct of the study. This research was funded by an internal TUN Research Grant Award #TUN-RA/16-17-02.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.