Transition to Adult Life

Each culture defines when a young person makes the transition to adulthood, often celebrating it with a “rite of passage.”  Examples are:

  • graduation or leaving school
  • setting up home away from family
  • joining the service or
  • going to college

There are many transitions that young adults make as adulthood approaches:

  • Medical
  • Home to School
  • School to Work
  • Independent Living
  • Group Living
  • High School to College

Adult is defined as a “grown-up person”.  Adult life typically means

  • Managing own finances
  • Managing personal relationships
  • Maintaining steady employment and/or financial well-being
  • Making reasonable safe choices about personal conduct
  • Managing one’s own health
  • Functioning as a citizen and community member

Here are some valuable resources for the young adults transitioning from High School and the people who assist and support them:

Transition to Adulthood from The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities has an an excellent collection of resources.

Healthy Bodies: A Parent’s Guide on Puberty for Adolescents with Disabilities addresses the needs of these families and is a response to the limited number of practical resources about puberty and disabilities.  The toolkit is written for a broad range of disabilities and provides a wide variety of visual supports and social stories that are especially useful for youth with autism or youth who are nonverbal.  The toolkit deals simply and directly with practical matters of puberty. Examples of topics and supports include hygiene, menstruation, nocturnal emissions, and appropriate behavior in public vs. private settings.

Michigan Transition Work (formerly MI-TOP) website from the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education provides information and resources for intermediate school district (ISD) transition coordinators and other transition professionals.

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