When we talk about the transition from childhood to adulthood, the word “plan” comes up a lot. There’s an education plan, a medical plan, planning your child’s income and signing up for services, planning for housing, planning to make sure your child is legally protected, planning for a career, planning a social life, and more.
It’s a lot to wrap our arms (and heads) around! Especially when we have our own emotions, dreams, and ideas about our children growing up. But making sure that we have certain i’s dotted and t’s crossed helps to ease the stress of transition, helps our children handle the responsibility of adulthood, and helps them get set up in a safe place.
And that’s why working with your child to create a good plan can be a real relief.
A transition plan isn’t a single plan. It’s a set of plans that cover all the areas of transition we’ve listed above. To help you and your child keep track of each area, Texas Parent to Parent has this transition inventory. This inventory gives a lot of suggestions – things you and your child can work together to set up.
Before jumping into making detailed plans about transitioning out of school, transitioning doctors, applying for services, or looking toward a career, it helps if you and your child have a clear vision of what your child wants for their future.
When creating that vision, here are some basic things to think about:
Finding the answers to these questions, and then putting some goals for each answer, helps your child make a plan that really fits. And that’s a great starting point for you and your child to make other important decisions about careers, living arrangements, health care, and even legal supports.
A transition plan isn’t a single plan. It’s a set of plans that covers:
Your family doesn’t have to come up with all the right questions and put together the goals all alone. There are a number of planning tools and approaches that you can use:
One of the biggest questions for most of us is: “Where do I start?”
Hopefully, by setting goals in your early planning process, you and your child know what is most important to work on first. But there is a general timeline for working on certain parts of transition. Below are some recommendations from Texas Parent to Parent.