Transition from school to adulthood: case studies of adults with learning disabilities who dropped out of school

Except Child. 1993 Feb;59(4):336-47. doi: 10.1177/001440299305900406.


In-depth, structured interviews were conducted over a 2-year period with four young adults previously identified as having learning disabilities during their school years. All four had dropped out of high school; but overall, they reported that their early withdrawal was an important and affirming choice in their transition from youth to young adulthood. Themes emerging as noteworthy include their lack of involvement in formal vocational assessment, their own individualized education programs, and adult services. The personal stories and experiences cast doubt on the prevailing opinion that school dropouts are "losers" and "failures." In contrast, their stories reveal a serious shortfall in their secondary special education programming and in the overall transition planning process.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Education, Special*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / psychology
  • Learning Disabilities / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / psychology
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational / psychology*
  • Student Dropouts / psychology*
  • Vocational Education
  • Vocational Guidance