If you have a child with a disability, you have probably become very familiar with navigating and supporting their health care needs over the years. However, once your child turns 18, health laws turn much of the responsibility of that care over to your child. Youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities often face a variety of barriers in accessing and managing their health care when they reach adulthood. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has created a comprehensive toolkit called Transition to Adulthood: A Health Care Guide for Youth and Families.
The toolkit does not focus just on those young adults on the autism spectrum, and many of the tools in the kit are of use to any family. The toolkit provides information on:
- How to choose a source of health care coverage
- How to create a health care support network
- How to integrate health care transition goals into individual educational plans (IEPs), beginning in middle or high school
- How to manage their own health care
The toolkit also provides guides and worksheets for keeping track of health care records, making doctor’s appointments, and talking to doctors about health concerns. Health care services and supports are often plentiful for children, but lacking for adults. Use the toolkit to help prepare your child for managing with their health care needs in adulthood.