As youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) leave school, they face several transitions including school to work or postsecondary education, family home to community living, and child oriented health care to adult care.Youth should be able to expect self-determined transitions with coordinated support from family, community, professionals, and agencies, but they and their families often experience very little choice, control, or collaboration from themyriad of systems to which they look for support and services for transition.Multiple barriers stand in the way of a coordinated approach to supporting all aspects of successful transition to adulthood. These barriers include failing to support self-determination as a central element of the person-centered process of transition; insufficient understanding of the role of culture in an individual or family’s concept or approach to transition; the tendency for professionals within each transition domain (education, health, community living, employment, others) to use language that is not easily understood by other professionals, youth,families, or other community partners; and neglecting to specifically explore how transition in the different realms could/should be linked for maximizing success.To that end, this paper promotes four core concepts that are essential to the development and implementation of effective transition plans and process.
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