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“TexasYouth2Adult is an interactive tool created to empower youth with special health care needs to grow successfully into adulthood. It was created with input from parents, health care providers, educators, transition specialists, and youth. Families can use this tool to begin planning early, ask the right questions, and find resources on many areas of life as an adult.”
Many young adults experience “culture shock” upon transitioning from school days to employment days: the traditional office atmosphere just doesn’t “work” like the traditional academic atmosphere. For someone who always got straight A’s by memorizing facts and speaking when spoken to, it can be challenging to grasp the vocational importance of relational skills, initiating discussions, and dressing like an experienced member of the profession.
An even worse shock often strikes special-needs families when their children grow into legal adulthood. If a child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) overlooks planning for post-graduation days, parents may fall into the habit of taking free assistance and opportunities for granted—then one day, they are informed that their grown child is no longer a minor nor a student, and therefore is ineligible for additional services in those areas. Feeling cast adrift, and not knowing where to go for alternatives, can be traumatic for the whole family.
In the State of Texas, one resource bridging that gap is TexasYouth2Adult, created by BridgingApps in partnership with the Baylor Transition Clinic. If your special-needs child is in high school and you aren’t sure what comes after; if your teenager has questions about a hoped-for career or about moving into his own apartment; if you’re unsure about if and how your child can achieve full adult independence; or if you need instruction in advocating for new accommodations—TexasYouth2Adult has links to articles, apps, and other resources in seven categories:
- Social and Recreational
- Legal and Advocacy
- Financial Management
- Independent Living
Not sure where to start? BridgingApps recommends reading “What Is Transition?” for a quick overview, then checking out the following Youth2Adult-linked articles. (Our App Search has recommendations for tech tools useful in transition. Feel free to contact us, or any other department at Easter Seals Greater Houston, with additional questions!)
Top 5 TexasYouth2Adult.com Articles
- “ABLE Accounts for Loved Ones with Disabilities.” Explains the basics of “Achieving a Better Life Experience” savings accounts, designed to provide extra financial support for persons with special needs. Most ABLE account funds are not counted among the special-needs person’s assets that affect eligibility for government aid.
- “Choosing a Medicaid Waiver Provider.” A collection of checklists for determining that your child’s provider understands special needs and is a good personal match.
- “Law Enforcement Programs Aimed at Improving Interactions with & Protecting People with Disabilities.” Roundup of Houston-area programs designed to teach police and other law-enforcement officers how to recognize mental disabilities and communicate with people who have them.
- “The Right to Make Choices.” Roundup of the best State of Texas information resources on making supported decisions. Ideal for families whose children will need continued help with medical and financial decisions after age 18, this article also provides details on the legal documents required to apply for guardianship or guidance rights.
- “10 Tips for a Successful Medical Transition.” Advice from the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital on transitioning from pediatric to adult care.
And remember: even with special needs, children are capable of managing more than you think. Be brave, be confident, and be supportive!
Additional Articles Recommended by TexasYouth2Adult.com
- Autism Through the Lifespan
- Colleges with a Physically-Disabled-Friendly Environment
- How to Safely Use Public Wi-Fi Networks
- Tips to Find the Best Jobs for People with Disabilities
- Transition Planning: Setting Lifelong Goals
- Transition to Adulthood—Frequently Asked Questions
- Twelve Things I Wish I’d Known Before Going to College with a Disability or Chronic Illness