Transition to Adulthood
Planning Guide: Year-by-Year
Planning Guide: Year-by-year
WHAT TO DO AND WHEN TO DO IT
Before Age 14:
- Begin transition planning through the IEP process. An IEP must include transition-planning services starting at age 16, but the process should ideally begin at age 14.
- Find out about diploma types and their requirements and discuss the options with your child and the IEP team.
- Talk to your child about puberty and sexuality.
Before Age 16:
- Begin thinking about long-term housing because waiting lists can be several years long, consider adding your child’s name to the waiting list for residential programs. That will give you more options later.
- Make sure your child is receiving WorkAbility and life skills training as part of their transition plan.
- Learn about the admission requirements and funding options for any college or vocational training program your child is interested in.
- Begin talking with medical providers about the transition to doctors and specialists treating adults. If your child has complex medical issues, you will want to begin ï¬nding new medical providers now.
- Make sure your child has an understanding of any chronic health problems he/she has and how to manage them.
Before Age 18:
- Organize your child’s medical records and other documents.
- Find out if there is an age cutoff for any of the therapies your child receives and, if so, get recommendations for providers working with adults.
- Apply for SSI.
- Apply or reapply for Medicaid.
- Find adult medical providers to replace your pediatrician and pediatric specialists.
- Get legal advice about conservatorship and guardianship.
- Speak with your health insurance agent about medical coverage for your child after s/he turns 18.
- Check with Durable Medical Equipment (DME) vendors and home care agencies to see if there are age cutoffs and, if so, what agencies can continue to provide the necessary care.
- If appropriate, have discussions with family about advanced directives, including Allow Natural Death/Do Not Resuscitate (AND/DNR) orders.
- If you have a daughter, arrange for her to have a gynecological examination with a gynecologist who understands her disability.
- If you have a son, he must register with Selective Service. He may register at the post office or online at www.sss.gov.
- Help your child register to vote.
- Determine whether or not your child will need a Special Needs Trust (SNT) or other financial plan.
Before Age 21:
- Take advantage of IDEA-funded special education services that run through age 21, particularly transition services.
Before Age 26:
- Determine whether your child will continue to be covered through your health insurance policy after they turn 26, and if not, what insurance they will need.