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Transitions – Growing up and Away!

“The journey to adulthood is often filled with joys and challenges, hurdles to cross and paths to choose…. take full advantage of the choices that lay before you.”

Besides starting out a new school year, for some families this will be the year to get ready to launch a son or daughter into the next phase of life after high school. The excitement and uncertainty your son or daughter may be feeling this last year of school may be mirrored in your own feelings of pride, concern (and maybe even relief). Growth and change affect everyone!

  • Listen to your son or daughter’s hopes and ambitions.
  • Help your teen consider possibilities - additional training, college, work, military, travel - and available resources.
  • Learn how your teen hopes to achieve these next steps.
  • Consider best ways to address or manage problems or special needs.
  • Discuss managing new and changing relationships with family and friends.
  • Besides dreams, ensure that your teen has some of the practicalities of life down.
  • Consider ways to move into a more adult relationship with your son or daughter.
  • Ensure your teen’s health care is updated; learn about and plan for health care transitions; check insurance coverage.
  • Help your teen develop healthy approaches to managing the mental health of daily life.
  • Love, support, and encourage your child!

Transitions for Youth with Special Health Care Needs
Adolescence is a challenging time for all youth, but for youth with special health care needs there are additional issues. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Initiative Healthy and Ready to Work (HRTW) focuses on and involves youth with special health care needs and their transition to adulthood going from pediatric to adult health care, shifting to a more independent lifestyle and learning to manage and participate in their health care decisions. HRTW also aims to improve access to health care services and insurance. Some young people with disabilities may qualify for public health programs, such as Medicaid or Medicare; however, others who are leaving school to begin work may have job related health insurance options. For more information on the
Healthy and Ready to Work Initiative, state programs, a web site, chat rooms and information from teens to teens go to HRTW.

Family Voices at the Federation for Children with Special Needs ¤ 1135 Tremont Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02120 ¤ Tel (617) 236-7210 Fax (617) 572-2094. Volume 3, Issue 3 - Summer 2003