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Transition Years


Any transition is easier if you believe in yourself and your talent. At the core of supported decision-making is the concept of presumed competence. In short, it means knowing that with the right services and supports, people with all kinds of disabilities can lead inclusive lives in the communities they chose. This includes people with multiple disabilities, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, mental health disabilities, physical disabilities, and substance use disorders., During the 19-25 years age range, it is important that all effort is made to support preparation for the time the young adult will leave the school setting and leap forward into their adult life.

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities represent a group of people with a large array of talents, skills, abilities, and needs. To support a successful transition; one that positions the young person into the life they want to have as an adult, it is important l that attention be given to all life areas. During these years, needs in each life area should be reviewed and support put into place when and where they are both needed, and desired, by the young adult.

All people lead interdependent lives, so a full exploration of each life area (work, education, recreation, relationships, medical needs, etc.) needs to be made. When supports are needed, all types of supports should be evaluated. It begins with looking at existing skills, strengths, and desires. Having a strong understanding of the type of life the young adult wants is critical for planning. Next, it is important to adopt a plan to reduce risk for people in a way that does not restrict the individual's independence, or access to opportunities that are available to their peers.

Life areas such as employment, housing, education, recreation, relationships, and medical needs should be explored. Resources such as technology, natural supports, and service system supports should be evaluated when it is decided by the person and their supporters that assistance is necessary.