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Adult Life


In Michigan, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are eligible for public education until the age of 26. Therefore, often age 26 is when young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities may begin to seek adult supports from the community mental health system or other support systems. This is another time a parent may be advised that they should consider guardianship. This is also an age when parents who petitioned and became guardian for their child at age 18, may consider restoration of their child’s rights (ending the guardianship).

Although the best time to begin planning and learning about supported decision- making is when children are young, it is never too late to look for alternatives to guardianship. In addition, if guardianship is currently in place, there is still time to arrange alternatives to guardianship, including supported decision-making and restoring the individual’s rights.

Throughout this guide, we have discussed the importance of helping a child to develop skills and abilities to make decisions in all areas of their lives. It is important to note that regardless of the amount of progress a young person makes, they can still engage in supported decision-making. In fact, even if a young person was never prepared in the ways described in this guide, the person can still engage in supported decision making. The key is to find the relationships and supports needed to best assist the individual.

Between ages 26 and 61, many adults are engaged in careers, finding lifelong friends, connecting to romantic partners, marrying, having and raising children, deciding where to live, and any number of other social or recreational activities. People without disabilities make decisions about these things every day. When the decision is complicated or difficult, we all look for support to make our decision. That might be doing research on the issue, or it might be talking to friends or family to gain insight or advice. People with IDD can use the same strategies in their own lives.

This guide includes information about how to arrange supports so that guardianship is not necessary along with resources for seeking restoration of rights.

Resources for Adult Life