FAQs :: Transition for  youths and young adults with special needs 

Q.    I’ve always advocated and supported my child over the years. Why would transition to adulthood be any different?

 

A.   Transition brings new challenges in many areas of life: further education/training, employment, sexuality and relationships, healthcare management, finances, independent living, safety. The list goes on and families can feel overwhelmed.

 

Becoming more independent is a natural part of transition whether or not a child has special needs. Families want to encourage their child, but transition-aged individuals may be resistant to the plans and goals that their parents suggest. This is actually a positive indication that your child is ready to assume more responsibility for their own decisions.

 

 

Q. Do children with intellectual disabilities, with autism, or with other challenges have many options for succeeding as an adult?

A. Opportunities have grown tremendously in recent years.  Businesses are beginning to hire more workers who may need some support. Inclusive university programs on some campuses mean students with an intellectual disability have an opportunity to attend a college program that prepares them for a successful transition. 

“Prepare to be surprised!” as one mom recently commented.

 

Q. I want to continue to be involved in my child’s life but I often hear that transition means families need to let go.

 

A. Children need their parents at every age, but parent roles change as a child moves toward adulthood. Chances are, you’ve put in much time and effort advocating for your child over the years. Together you’ve celebrated milestones and new achievements.

 

Transitioning to adulthood means a young person will be advocating much more for their own needs, pursuing their interests, and creating a life for themselves that will be different from how they have lived as a child or teen.

 

Even those individuals who need a great deal of support can become independent, speak up about preferences and make decisions with support as they move toward a full life

 

 

Q. How would transition coaching make a difference?

A.  The challenge of a successful transition to adulthood is that it involves many areas of life. Interests, strengths, challenges and needs are different for every family so it is critical for success that a transition plan is personalized.

Many families finding it daunting to know where to begin—and where to find the time.  Sometimes their child may actually seem resistant to looking to the future.

Adulthood can seem a distant abstract notion for a child who learns concretely. Relying on parents for addressing transition may be actually counter to the goals of transition.

Families are faced with finding ways to balance support for a child entering adulthood, maintain high expectations, and observe their child getting their footing in this new stage of life.

Coaching can provide the focus, structure, and support that allow families to move forward successfully using available tools and strategies.

 

Q. I want to continue to be involved in my child’s life but I often hear that transition means families need to let go.

 

A. Children need their parents at every age, but parent roles do change as a child moves toward adulthood. Chances are, you’ve put in much time and effort advocating for your child over the years. Together you’ve celebrated milestones and new achievements.

 

Coaching can support you to find emerging role that lets you and your child be close while allowing for new life roles as your child moves toward adulthood.

 

 

Q. Navigating a transition to more independence may be too involved for my child with special needs. Isn’t it best to continue things as they are here at home?

 

A. Even children with quite involved needs can have expectations of a rewarding life as an adult! It’s inspiring to hear a young adult express pride in having achieved beyond even their own expectations.

 

This sense of self-respect can also mean fewer disruptive behaviors that can result from an individual feeling frustrated, disappointed, bored, lonely, and even angry.

 

Too, as families recognize that their child may outlive them, many strive to give their child the stability, skills, and independence that will continue once the family is no longer able to support them in the same routine and setting.

 

Individuals who have a range of experiences and skills and who can speak up for themselves are generally able to be more flexible.You and your child deserve to continue striving to reach new goals.

 

STAGES Transition Coaching aims to inspire individuals who are excited and engaged with a life that has meaning to them.

 

Q.  I realize that independence is an important achievement, but I can’t see my child being completely on their own and by themselves.

A. Independence does not mean alone—individuals may live in a range of settings and do a variety of activities.

Independence is more about individuals making informed choices about where and how to live, work, learn, socialize, and worship.

They deserve to expect support to achieve and become a person who is living a full life.

 

Q. My child is vulnerable. I want to keep her safe, so I don’t know if it’s such a good idea for her to be too independent.

A. Statistics tell us that the rates of sexual violence and abuse are extremely high for individuals with disabilities.

Recent studies indicate that individuals who are accustomed to speaking up for themselves and feeling empowered to express their opinions are much less vulnerable. Knowing it's OK to say no can contribute to your youth's/young adult's wellbeing.

 

 

 

Learn more!

Deb Zuver

stages@debzuver.com

 

919|360|0874

 


Mailing Address:

PO Box 1464

Carrboro, NC 27510

 

Office Locations:

CHAPEL HILL:

1829 East Franklin         Suite 700C                         Chapel Hill, NC          

 

DURHAM:

3622 Lyckan Parkway

Westgate II

Suite 3002

Durham, NC 27707

Deb Zuver
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