Youth and Family Role in Transition

From our Parent Advisors:

Transition doesn’t need to be a dreaded point in time. It is inevitable, so be positive a tackle it as a family. Involvement from the youth and family is essential to a successful transition. Given the proper tools, the youth (if able) will learn how to navigate the adult healthcare system independently, while others may need some assistance or require their parents to continue to advocate and supervise the their healthcare. Whatever your situation may be, thoughtful planning is key to your youth assuming the adult role of managing his or her own health.

The adult world of medical care and social services is quite different than the pediatric/adolescent world of healthcare. Youth and families should ask questions, seek advice, and research what lies ahead. Take advantage of various readiness tools, info sessions, and webinars regarding transition. When visiting the pediatrician, ask if he or she can refer you to an adult practitioner. Inquire at your (the parent’s) doctor’s office about their ability to provide healthcare to your youth.

If the youth has an IEP, make sure to bring a list of questions or concerns about transition to the IEP meeting (transition must be addressed at IEPs beginning at age fourteen). Think of the possibilities that lie ahead after graduation, whether it’s college, vocational school, work (with or without a job coach), or day programs. Will transportation be an issue? Will funding be needed? The transition coordinator at your youth’s school should be able to direct you to specific programs relative to your individual situation. Utilize all supports available to you and your family. Remember, transition is just a new path on the road! Don’t forget to use our website for links and resources.