PARENT TIPSHEET: Transitioning from paediatric to adult services

resourcecentre@hollandbloorview.ca

This tipsheet is for parents who are looking for tips from other families about transitioning a child with a disability into adult services.

  1. Start with your family first and involve the child in as many steps as possible
    • Involve the child who is transitioning in setting goals and what options they would want to consider as they become an adult (e.g. day program, housing, post-secondary school, job training, etc.)
    • What kind of future do you see?
    • Who will the child be with?
    • Where will the child live?
    • What does the child want to do?
  2. Start early, but take one step at a time
    • Don’t feel like you have to know everything right away or feel like there can be only one plan – things change!
    • Families find that it is most helpful to start looking at services when their child is 16 years of age.
    • This time is used to better understand and digest all of the options and processes.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the adult service system
    • Create a list of questions that you might have.
    • Ask your clinicians for transition information.
    • Look for more resources online or through 211.
  4. Create your own specialized resources
    • Find resources and keep a list of them.
    • Network for ideas – ask other families about what they did and what their child might be doing currently.
    • Extend your research about resources into the community.
    • Ask: what is out there, which people can help, and how can you connect with these resources.
  5. Form social support networks
    • Some families start with informal connections, at first, to form a base for more closer relationships.
    • Gradually form an intentional network with people who can help advance the vision of your son/daughter.
    • The more people involved with your family member, the fewer the risks. The support network acts as a safety net as well as a “Dream Machine”.
    • Consider a Person Directed Plan. You can find Person Directed Planners at places such as Community Living and Partners for Planning.
  6. See your records as an ongoing resource
    • Put your resources into one area.
    • Keep contact information (like staff names, job titles, agencies, contact methods) in one place.
    • Store reports, recommendations and important communication from services in this place.
    • Encourage your child to be as involved with this as possible (e.g. opening letters, writing an ‘all about me’ profile, keeping things together).
  7. Remember that it doesn’t hurt to try
    • It might be scary to transition out of services that the child has been through for a long time.
    • As you keep trying new things, it might get easier.
    • It’s important to remember that trying new things is your first step to a ‘new normal’.

These tips were created in partnership by a family member and a Family Resource Centre staff. Last edited in May 2018.