What to Do Before Your Child with Developmental Disabilities Turns 21

What to Do Before Your Child with Developmental Disabilities Turns 21

As the parent of a teenager with developmental disabilities, you may feel pretty up on your child’s special education rights and services. Whether you’ve had a positive experience or have battled every step of the way, your time for dealing with the school district will eventually come to an end. Then you’ll have a whole new system of services and bureaucracy to deal with and a whole new set of decisions to make.

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Transition to Adulthood

Start by talking with your school’s child study team and transition coordinator about how long your student can or should stay in school and what the timeline will be for leaving. You and your young person should discuss goals and hopes for the future and get whatever preparation may be available to further that plan in the final years of schooling.

Evaluations and Eligibility

If you’ve never registered your child with Department for Persons with Disabilities (DDD) and determined eligibility for services, do so before that 21st birthday. Even if you have been involved with DDD, you may need a new evaluation for adult services to begin. You’ll also need to determine if your adult child will be eligible for Medicare. When these processes have been successfully completed, you’ll select from support coordination agencies nj to work with on services after transition.

Rights and Responsibilities

This may also be the time to decide about legal arrangements like guardianships and trusts. Consult with a lawyer who has experience with disability law to decide what’s best for keeping your young person safe and secure while also respecting rights and abilities.

Since bureaucracies work slowly, it’s essential to get started on planning for your child’s adulthood well ahead of the time when the school bus stops coming and you’re on your own. Start asking questions early to stay on top of all the necessary steps.