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Developing Skills for the Future

Transition is about preparing for life as an adult which may include:

  • Caring for your own health and medical needs
  • Attending a university or community college
  • Getting job training
  • Getting a job
  • Living away from home
  • Getting around the community
  • Engaging in individually meaningful activities


Transition begins by the time you are 14 years old

Many important changes in services and legal status occur between the ages of 18 and 21. But planning for transition may begin before you turn 14 years old, and may continue beyond when you turn 21 years old. For many young adults, much of the transition planning happens between 14 to 21 years of age.


Transition is about developing needed skills

All youth need to develop skills to support adult life and independent living to help prepare for life as an adult, you can think about what skills you want to work on next. The information included in this packet can help you identify many skills you will need for independent living and management of your special health care needs.


Everyone transitions to adult health care

Shifting from pediatric to adult health care is a transition all young adults make, though if you have a family medicine doctor who sees patients throughout the lifespan, you do not have to switch doctors. In preparation for adult life, young adults with a variety of conditions or disabilities must consider how to manage their own health care needs. Everyone needs to know when to seek medical care and when to take medication. It is important for you to understand your health condition or disability. It is also important for you to understand health risks, how to make healthy life choices, and how to exercise independence in health-related issues.

Seek coordinated care

The place you go to for most of your general medical care is your primary care site. Some call it your Medical Home. An on-going relationship with a primary care physician or nurse practitioner can provide a place to look at your needs as a whole individual. The primary care doctor and team should take a lead in helping you leave pediatrics and move into adult health care. They should make sure you are finding and linking to the health-related services you need at home and in the community.

Include all relevant people

Think of all of the health professionals who are in your life now and how these people can help you in the transition process. You may have a strong relationship with a specialty care provider and team. It is important to ask them to help you identify adult specialists and begin the process of transitioning your care to an adult specialty clinic, since almost everyone stops getting care from pediatric specialists by the time they are between 18 to 21 years old.

This information in this packet has collected and has been modified from: Transition Health Care Checklist: Preparing for Life as an Adult, http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/wrc/pub.html                 Pennsylvania Department of Health