What is Transition?

by Dr. Josie Badger

Transition means something different to everyone. Each profession has its own definition, goals, and processes. Although they are written differently, all definitions include the idea of change, progress over time, and successful adult outcomes. But until you are knee-deep in the process, these mean very little. Few youth with or without disabilities truly understand the full impact of transitioning into adulthood.

For me, as a youth with a disability, transition meant getting to my next class before the bell rang and being trampled by herds of students. When my doctor mentioned transition, I had no idea that it meant changing my complete healthcare infrastructure and support system. Further, I had no idea the significance of my 18th birthday.

Whether you are a professional, family member, or youth, it is impossible to predict what transition will look like for anyone. With relatively new legislation, policy, and expanded knowledge about the barriers in transition, there are significantly better supports available; however, if you are not aware of these, you or your child may still not receive the appropriate services and support.

Throughout this blog series we will be addressing various transition and young adult topics. We will consider how the issues of transition do not fit simply into the three post school outcome categories of education, employment, and independent living. Additionally, we will be talking about rights, services, relationships, benefits, health and wellness, self-determination, decision-making, and much more.

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