Early planning and preparation are essential for success in adulthood. The Fairfield County Board of DD Adult Services Options Transition Coordinator is available to assist individuals, families, school programs, and support teams in planning and coordinating of school to adult life transition services. The Fairfield County Board of DD Transition Coordinator serves as the Fairfield County project coordinator for the Ohio Rehabilitation Services grant initiative referred to as Bridges to Transition. Bridges to Transition serves as a catalyst for the innovative approach known as “Discovery” as well as the futures planning process known as MAPS. Our Transition Coordinator also facilitates the Fairfield County Transition Collaborative which is comprised of representatives from each of the Fairfield County School Districts, Fairfield County Board of DD, Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, Fairfield County Jobs & Family Services, Social Security Administration, Southeastern Ohio Center for Independent Living, service providers, families and other stakeholders who are passionate about developing best-practice in transition services for Fairfield County. This group meets every other month at the Ohio University Lancaster Campus. The Fairfield County Transition Collaborative serves as a model for the State of Ohio.
For more information about Transition Services please contact:
Transition Timeline for Children and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities / Delays
Children and Families experience many transitions, large and small, over the years. Some predictable transitions occur: when children transition out of early intervention services, when they move from preschool to kindergarten, when they approach adolescence, and when children move from adolescences to adulthood. Other transitions children make include moving into new programs, working with new agencies and care providers, and making new friends. Transitions all involve changes: adding new expectations, routines and responsibilities, while letting go of others.
As a parent of a child with special needs, disabilities and or developmental delays, you may be caught up in a day to day survival. You might ask; "How can I think about tomorrow when I'm just trying to make it through today?" But when those moments come when you can catch your breath, it may be helpful to be aware of those transitions and allow yourself to think about the future.
Tips: review the timeline and identify where you and your child are. Pick a place for action - YOU CAN'T DO EVERYTHING AT ONCE! Try linking with others who have already transitioned.
Ages 12 - 18
By age 12 through 18, or according to your child's ability:
- Assess your teen's perception and basic knowledge of his/her special needs. Fill in understanding.
- Continue teaching your teen age-appropriate self-help skills as well as skills related to their special need. Continue teaching self-advocacy skills.
- Begin helping your teen keep a record of his/her medical history, including conditions, operations, treatments, doctors and IEP, if on IEP.
- Encourage teen to participate in IEP meetings.
- Begin helping your teen take responsibility for making/keeping medical appointments, ordering his/her own supplies, etc.
- Begin exploring health care coverage for your young adult.
- Emphasize importance of physical fitness.
- Discuss relationships and sexuality with your teen.
- Help your teen identify and build his/her strengths.
- Explore support groups, if teen is interested.
- Begin to explore and talk about possible career interests with your teen.
- Help your teen find work and volunteer opportunities.
- Continue to allow your teen to help with family chores. This will instill work ethic.
- Continue to encourage hobbies and leisure activities.
- Help your teen identify and be involved with adult or older teen role models.
- Begin, with your teen, looking for an adult health care provider.
By age 14
- Your child's IEP must involve a transition plan for post-secondary goals. Your teen should be involved in this transition plan.
- Focus on Interagency Collaboration or linkages. Invite a DD rep to the IEP meeting.
By Age 16
- Your Teen's IEP must include measurable post-secondary goals and must include means of assessment for transition objectives.
- Determine eligibility for Adult Services through County Board of DD.
By Age 17
- Begin exploring health financing.
- Notify Rehabilitative Services Commission (RSC) for teens with and without IEP's by autumn of the year before graduation.
- Investigate need for guardianship and other options for legal protection.
- If appropriate, begin guardianship procedures two months before the teen turns 18.
- Notify the student of rights that will transfer to him/her on reaching the age of majority (18).
Ages 18 through 21
By ages 18 through 21, or according to your child's ability:
- If on an IEP, you may want to encourage your young adult to stay in school until the age of 21.
- If your young adult is on an IEP, continue to encourage participation in IEP meetings and transition planning with the IEP team, including employment and adult life activities.
- Act as a resource and support to your young adult.
- Encourage your young adult to participate in support groups and/or organizations relevant to his/her special need.
- Finalize health care plan with your young adult.
- With young adult, finalize transfer of medical care to adult provider.
By Age 18:
- Check eligibility for SSI the month the teen turns 18.
- Investigate SSI work incentives such as Ticket to Work.
- Obtain Picture ID from local BMV
- Males must register for selective services.
By Age 21
- Notify County Board of DD for adult vocational services.