Transition Guide By Life Domain

View the Transition Guide by Age

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Life Skills for Emerging Adults

Age 10-14:

  • Order meals at restaurants independently
  • Pay for items at the store independently
  • Learn how to use a cell phone and carry one, if applicable
  • Find adult mentor/role model with similar disability
  • Talk about your dreams for the future with the people you care about and ask for their help
  • Increase independence of Activities of Daily Living (ex: dressing, feeding, bathing, toileting, etc.)

Age 15-17:

  • Arrive on time to appointments, work, & activities
  • Carry state ID card or driver’s license and a copy of health insurance card
  • Schedule your own appointments
  • Think about future living arrangements
  • Carry a cell phone, if applicable
  • Work on self-advocacy in meetings and appointments
  • Seek care from adults other than parents so that you learn to interact with new people and communicate needs to others
  • Attend a sleep-away camp to foster independence
  • Teach teen how to handle emergency vs. non-emergency medical situations
  • Discuss vocational training vs. post-secondary education
  • Special Needs Trust, if applicable

Age 18:

  • Register to vote
  • Males: Must register for draft
  • Plan future living arrangements
  • Carry a cell phone, if applicable
  • Prepare your “elevator speech” about your diagnosis for providers, therapists, teachers, etc.
  • Obtain a passport, if desired
  • Work on self-advocacy in meetings and appointments
  • Seek care from adults other than parents so that you learn to interact with new people and communicate needs to others

Age 19-21:

  • Inform local fire department of necessary accommodations for emergency preparedness
  • Carry a cell phone, if applicable
  • Bring together people you care about to plan with you and help you reach your goals (Person-Centered Planning)
  • Practice self-advocacy in interactions with doctors and professionals
  • Seek care from adults other than parents so that you learn to interact with new people and communicate needs to others
  • Talk about your dreams for the future with the people you care about and ask for their help

Age 22-26:

  • Take on as many independent living responsibilities as able
  • Maintain friendships & social life
  • Inform local fire department of necessary accommodations for emergency preparedness
  • Create list of necessities for emergency preparedness (medication, equipment, supplies, etc.)
  • Carry a cell phone, if applicable
  • Bring together people you care about to plan with you and help you reach your goals
  • Practice self-advocacy in interactions with doctors and professionals
  • Talk about your dreams for the future with the people you care about and ask for their help

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Family Involvement

Age 10-14:

  • Discuss child’s hopes & dreams
  • Have child help with chores to teach living skills
  • Discuss sexuality & family planning issues
  • Open bank account for child and discuss money and budgeting
  • Inform local fire department of necessary accommodations for emergency preparedness
  • Develop family plan of what to do in case of emergency
  • Set up a Special Needs Trust, if applicable
  • Talk about end-of-life plans with family
  • Facilitate opportunities for your child to make his or her own choices and decisions
  • Find or create a safe place to talk about experiences with the disability (family discussions, support groups, counseling)

Age 15-17:

  • Create opportunities to test independence of youth in a safe environment
  • Explore public transportation together or use a community resource to learn about transportation to increase independence
  • Find or create a safe place to talk about experiences with the disability (family discussions, support groups, counseling)
  • Assist youth in connecting with an adult mentor/role model with a similar disability

Age 18:

  • Discuss representative payee & guardianship
  • Assist teen with living options
  • Discuss vocational training vs. post-secondary education
  • Inform local fire department of necessary accommodations for emergency preparedness
  • Determine guardianship, Medical Durable Power of Attorney,  or conservatorship
  • Explore Special Needs Trust, if applicable
  • Facilitate opportunities for your child to make his or her own choices and decisions
  • Find or create a safe place to talk about experiences with the disability (family discussions, support groups, counseling)
  • Assist youth in connecting with an adult mentor/role model with a similar disability

Age 19-21:

  • Plan future living arrangements
  • Develop a long-term financial plan
  • Discuss vocational training vs. post-secondary education
  • Determine guardianship, Medical Durable Power of Attorney,  or conservatorship
  • Explore/set up Special Needs Trust, if applicable
  • Support independent choices
  • Find or create a safe place to talk about experiences with the disability (family discussions, support groups, counseling)

Age 22-26:

  • Determine guardianship, Medical Durable Power of Attorney,  or conservatorship
  • Establish Special Needs Trust, if applicable
  • Encourage increased & ongoing independence
  • Discuss “End of Life” planning for all family members
  • Find or create a safe place to talk about experiences with the disability (family discussions, support groups, counseling)

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School   

Age 10-14:

  • Incorporate transition planning into last middle school IEP because it will follow student to high school
  • Update IEP as often as necessary, at least once per school year
  • All IEP requests should be in writing to the school district and special educationdepartment
  • Support student to engage in middle school and high school classes and extra-curricular activities related to their interests and strengths
  • If assistive technology (AT) device is needed at school, make sure it is written into IEP
  • Parents: get involved in child’s school to create partnerships and build relationships

Age 15-17:

  • At 15, incorporate first transition goal into IEP
  • Update IEP/ transition goals as often as necessary, at least once per school year
  • Student attends own IEP meeting to work on self-advocacy
  • Transition goals should be individualized to student’s interests
  • Decide on transition program with vocational training vs. graduation and higher education
  • Support student to engage in classes and extra-curricular activities related to their interests and strengths

Age 18:

  • Update IEP/ transition goals  as often as necessary, at least once per school year
  • Attend your own IEP and work on self-advocacy
  • All IEP requests should be in writing to the school district and special education department
  • Transition goals should be individualized to student’s interests
  • Can walk at graduation with high school class if graduating or if utilizing school transition services

Age 19-21:

  • Update IEP/ transition goals  as often as necessary, at least once per school year
  • Attend your own IEP and work on self-advocacy
  • Transition goals should be individualized to student’s interests
  • At 21, complete school transition services
  • Begin post-secondary education, if desired
  • Utilize 504 Plan (ADA) to receive accommodations in college and work

Age 22-26:

  • Continue in post-secondary school, if desired
  • 504 Plan can be utilized in college to receive accommodations
  • Stay involved with continuing education or certificate programs, if applicable to career path

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Career Planning

Age 10-14:

  • Start thinking about & researching possible career interests: take advantage of career fairs, job shadowing opportunities
  • Volunteer in a variety of environments

Age 15-17:

  • Begin job shadowing
  • Practice completing  job applications
  • Develop a résumé or video résumé
  • Work summer job, if applicable
  • Volunteer in a variety of environments
  • Learn about a variety of career opportunities based on your interests and strengths
  • Remember to think outside the box!

Age 18:

  • Continue job exploration/ job training
  • Work summer job, if applicable
  • Volunteer in a variety of environments
  • Complete résumé and/or video résumé
  • Find opportunities to connect with career interests

Age 19-21:

  • Determine vocational direction & apply to job postings
  • Continue volunteering to learn about opportunities and to network
  • Learn to self-advocate for accommodations in the work environment
  • Look into work incentive programs through SSA

Age 22-26:

  • Continue work or apply for jobs matching interests & skills
  • Volunteer, if time permits
  • Learn to self-advocate for accommodations in the work environment
  • Apply for jobs
  • If not able to work, make plans for daily activities & community involvement

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Health/Health Coverage

Age 10-14:

  • Ask questions at doctor appointments
  • Obtain EPSDT services from Healthy Communities, if on Medicaid
  • Build relationships with your medical providers
  • Create a list of contacts for doctors, therapists, equipment vendors, etc., in case of emergency
  • Ask for care coordinator through insurance to help with services and needs
  • Learn more about your health & health care needs
  • Develop a portable medical summary including medications
  • Develop a family medical history

Age 15-17:

  • Establish plan for adult medical services & obtain referrals
  • Update list of contacts for doctors, therapists, equipment vendors, etc., in case of emergency
  • Obtain a Letter of Medical Necessity for use with insurance, therapies, SSA, and other systems
  • Learn more about your medical background
  • Schedule medical appointments independently
  • Learn to refill prescriptions independently

Age 18:

  • Switch to adult medical providers
  • Obtain EPSDT services through age 20, if on Medicaid
  • Apply for adult SSI in order to keep Medicaid, if applicable
  • Update list of contacts for doctors, therapists, equipment vendors, etc., in case of emergency
  • Have an understanding of medical background & needs
  • Update Letter of Medical Necessity with current abilities and needs
  • Update portable medical summary

Age 19-21:

  • Build relationships with adult medical providers
  • EPSDT services through age 20 (dental & vision coverage ends at 18 if on Medicaid)
  • Dental and vision care can be written into DD service plans
  • Update list of contacts for doctors, therapists, equipment vendors, etc., in case of emergency
  • Assume responsibility for health care needs (make appointments, fill prescriptions, manage medication)
  • Update Letter of Medical Necessity with current abilities and needs

Age 22-26:

  • At 26 yrs old, adult is no longer eligible for parent’s health insurance (unless negotiated with private carrier)
  • Build relationships with adult medical providers
  • Update list of contacts for doctors, therapists, equipment vendors, etc., in case of emergency
  • Obtain updated Letter of Medical Necessity with current abilities and needs, as needed

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View the Transition Guide by Age

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Making Colorado a better place for children and youth with special health care needs

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