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Transition to Adulthood

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With the help of my family and school I have advocated for supports and services to help me while in school and through the transition to living on my own. Throughout high school my parents and I were not totally satisfied with the handling of my IEP so we spoke up for what we felt I needed to be successful as an adult. I talked with my parents and school about going to college. My parents and school contacted the SAVE Program, which helped provide transition supports through my IEP to go to college. I took classes and had an internship to help prepare me for jobs. I had on-the-job trainings all year long with the custodial and maintenance staff, and worked on campus in the Lakers Café. My transition required many steps including finding my own apartment, learning about supports for housing and independent living. Independent Living Choices (ILC) helps me with independent living skills like budgeting, keeping track of my checkbook and spending. Also through ILC I get out and spend time with people (by attending support group get togethers) when I can. I was able to participate in the Partners In Policymaking Program, a leadership and advocacy training that empowers people with developmental disabilities and their families and learn how to advocate better for myself.

“My Road to Transitioning”—a story by Caryn Johnson, young adult advocate


Pennsylvania Secondary Transition Guide- Pennsylvania Department of Education

Sister and brother pose following graduation ceremony.

Family members pose following a graduation ceremony.

Secondary Transition Roadmaps- Pennsylvania Department of Education

Being a Healthy Adult: How to Advocate for Your Health and Health Care- Kathy Roberson, M.S.W, The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities

Keeping It Real: How to Get the Supports You Need for the Life You Want- The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities

Healthy Transitions: Moving from Pediatric to Adult Health Care- New York State Institute for Health Transition Training for Youth with Developmental Disabilities 

Transition Health Care Checklist: Transition to Adult Living in Pennsylvania- Pennsylvania Department of Health

Journey to Adulthood: A transitions travel guide- National Health Care Transition Center 

Transition Travel Guide: Resources for Roadblocks- National Health Care Transition Center

Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic- Office of Disability Employment Policy 


Secondary Transition Toolkit- Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network


Secondary Health Care Transition Toolkit- Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network

Two friends talking at a youth leadership meeting.

Two friends collaborate as part of a youth leadership organization.


Heading for College with Special Healthcare Needs- National Health Care Transition Center

Health Care Transition Guide for Young Adults- Children's Medical Services (CMS) Network 

Establishing Inclusive Postsecondary Education Opportunities: Tips for Effective Communication- Think College

Think College Self Paced Learning Modules- Think College 

Self Determination Student Checklist- Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education Training and Technical Assistance Centers

Empowering Leadership A Systems Change Guide for Autistic College Students and Those with Other Disabilities- Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)

Transition Checklist for Parents/Caregivers- Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN)

Integrating Health into the Transition IEPFamily Voices, Diana Autin & Carolyn Hayer

Guardianship and Alternatives for Decision-Making SupportNational Health Care Transition Center

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