A Massachussetts Children’s Hospital document from 2000 offers information on the unique transition needs for students with disabilities who have special health care needs. It contains advice for families and teens alike.
The journey to adulthood for a child with special health care needs or disability is filled with joys and challenges — as it is for any child — just more so. From the day the special health care need is known and onward, family members must learn new vocabulary, new techniques and procedures. They meet doctors and other health providers they may never have known even existed. They learn about and become connected to organizations, programs and people in their community whose path they had never crossed before. They even learn about laws unknown to them earlier.Life can become more than busy as families work to get the best for all their members. As these full days unfold, our children are entering their adulthood — an adulthood that should offer them the opportunities, pleasures, and challenges available to anyone.This booklet has been developed for families to help you prepare together for adulthood. Just as families have had to spend more than the average amount of time attending to their young child’s care, the transition to adulthood will be best accomplished if families devote extra effort and energy to that transition. This booklet has been written to help and guide you — to give you the information, ideas, tools, and resources you need along the way.The booklet covers four major areas of adulthood:♦Health care♦Education♦Employment and♦RecreationThere is information for parents and especially for teens. Review it together and individually and keep it handy for frequent use.Adulthood does not happen overnight, nor does preparing for adulthood. We recommend that you work together starting when your child is 14 years old.