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Kids Transitioning to Adulthood

Some youth, because of the nature of their mental, behavioral or emotional needs, will need on-going support after they reach the legal age of 18. If your child is approaching 18, and is currently receiving services, it is a good idea to begin planning his transition. A well thought out transition plan can ease some of the uncertainty, both for you and your child.

A transition plan is a document you and your child put together along with people from the agencies that will be providing services to your child after he turns 18. It describes the activities and goals that should be accomplished before your child finishes school. It can be a very helpful guide for both you and your child.

If your child is receiving special education services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that transition planning starts by the time a child is 14. After your child turns 14, her Individual Education Plans (IEP) should always include an Individual Transition Plan.

Done properly, a good transition plan can help your child achieve her goals for the future. When the transition planning begins, the IEP must include a description of activities or goals in the following areas;

  1. Education
  2. Community experiences
  3. Employment and other after-graduation goals
  4. Daily living skills
  5. If appropriate, a functional vocational evaluation.

The IDEA also recommends that services for your child should be coordinated among agencies.