Transition from child to adult life

Transition is the process of change from one stage of development, growth or support to the next. In disability services it’s often used for getting teenagers ready for adult life.

This process is different for everyone and not every stage needs to be ‘completed’ before another begins. Transition stages can be linked to age, ability, and service eligibility. During transition a student with disabilities should receive support to move towards their future life goals. An Individuaoffice-work-1149087_1920l Career Plan or ICP should be organised by the school by the time they are 14 years old. ICPs cover employment and financial independence, community participation, home and living arrangements, independent mobility, peer relationships, sexuality and self-esteem.

An Individual Transition Plan is also usually developed by the team of people who will be supporting your child in their last year at school. This covers a lot of the same goals as in an ICP but also has more detail on what will happen when they leave school. The plan might follow a process called PATH (Planning Alternative Futures with Hope).

Transition – like all change – can be a challenging time so it’s a good idea to start planning early along with the person you support, to find out their goals and any support you’d like to get in place, in order to plan an exciting and independent life. Also – don’t forget your teenager needs to participate in as many day-to-day tasks as possible while living with you – to help them be better prepared for life when they become more independent.

Key tips for planning a successful transition
Here’s some ideas on how to help plan a successful transition for the young person you care for.

Guide to useful transition information
Here’s a list of resources and organisations that can help with planning and supporting transition.