Special Needs Checklist for Teens and Young Adults

Your child’s future beyond high school will need to be planned for while they are a teenager. You’re going to have a kid someday. Is it possible to go to college or a vocational school? Is there anything to be done about finding a job? Here’s a special needs checklist for your teens to help you out.

It’s a lot to think about, but transition planning can make things easier. There are many ways you may make the transition from childhood to adulthood as easy as possible for you and your child.

There are six points to keep in mind:

The first step is to begin the transition plan.

Transition Individualized Education Programs (IEP) is mandated by federal law to be implemented when a student is 16 years old. It is addressed in the transition IEP whether or not an adolescent is capable of

  • Until the conclusion of the year in which they turn 21. This extra time could allow your child to finish graduation requirements or attend vocational rehabilitation to develop employment skills and test out jobs of interest. In addition to learning how to use public transportation and handle money, students can also work on acquiring life skills such as these.
  • Satisfy high school graduation requirements. What will it take for your kid to receive a certificate of completion or attendance if they are not on the diploma path?
  • Go to college or a vocational school, and if so, how do I get there?

Higher education may not be for everyone, in which case:

  • Or a day program where your teenager can participate in the arts and other extracurricular activities while working or not working with a job coach.
  • The IEP team will meet with you and your teen to discuss your long-term aspirations.

Your teen’s future residence will also be addressed in the transition IEP. If the IEP identifies the possibility of independent living, supervised living, or a group home, it may specify the kind of services required to make this a reality. Some of these topics could be how to get around on your own, use public transportation like the bus, or even budget your money and plan healthy meals.

Registration for your teen is the second step.

You may be able to get help discovering services for your child if you reside in an area with a state agency that deals with developmental disabilities. Your adolescent must be registered with the state’s agency for people with developmental disabilities to be eligible. It’s best to get your name on the list as soon as possible to avoid the ten-year wait for services like group home placement.

Using the online Benefit Finder provided by the U.S. government, parents may quickly and easily determine whether their children are eligible for various types of financial assistance.

Take a look at post-secondary options in Step 3.

What’s out there if you don’t know what your teen wants to do in higher education or job training? From a range of alternatives, including:

  • Traditional four-year institutions. There should be an office of disability services at colleges and universities which can connect your teen to resources and activities that can aid them. Several schools provide services like peer mentoring and flexible scheduling to fit your teen’s learning style. Students who study better in a non-classroom environment may find online degree programs advantageous.
  • Community and two-year institutions of higher education. Adults with developmental disabilities can benefit from unique programs at community colleges. Check to see if there is one near you.
  • High school students are given hands-on instruction in various trades at vocational or technical schools.
  • Teaching life skills such as cooking and housekeeping and job-related skills like interviewing and financial literacy. Your local community college might be able to offer these classes to your son or daughter if they didn’t in high school.

Talk about your teen’s interests and abilities with them before deciding on their future. Talking to a vocational counselor might help you figure out what real-world talents your teen possesses. A career counselor can assist in identifying the competencies required by businesses.

Remember that your teen is still developing and learning new things every day. When high school is through, they may have made a different choice. As you make plans, remember to be adaptable and open to new possibilities.

Step 4: Do the Legal Work

Children who turn 18 are legally considered adults, no matter how young they may be. Consider obtaining a power of attorney if your adolescent cannot make decisions regarding their health or finances. As a result, you can continue to make medical and financial decisions on your adolescent’s behalf.

Examine your alternatives for medical coverage as well. There is now a provision that allows adult children to continue on their parent’s private health insurance plan until 26 years of age. If you’re between 18 and 25, you may be eligible for Medicaid health insurance. Make sure your teen gets all the benefits they are entitled to, including Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

In addition, it is a good time to go through your will. Ask your other children whether they’d be interested in providing care for your teen when they are older.

Step 5: Talk about your sexuality.

They are going through the process of growing up. This implies that they are interested in engaging in a sexually explicit form of intimacy. Consult with your teen’s doctor about options for preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases if they can do so (STDs).

Sadly, sexual assault is particularly common among people with impairments. Talking with your teen about proper and incorrect sexual activity is essential. Let your kid know that they can come to you if they ever feel unsafe or if someone inappropriately touches your teen.

In the sixth step, look for new doctors.

For years, a team of doctors, experts, and therapists may have helped your child. However, most child-centered health care providers require that your teen moves to adult treatment by 21.

Inquire with your child’s existing caregivers about possible replacements for the person who is now caring for your teen. In addition, family members, support groups, and national autism awareness organizations may be able to recommend services.

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