Children and families experience many transitions, large and small, over the years. Three predictable transitions occur when children reach school age, when they approach adolescence, and when they move from adolescence to adulthood. Other transitions include moving into new programs, working with new agencies and care providers, and making new friends. Transitions involve changes: adding new expectations, responsibilities, or resources, and letting go of others.
Please see the Transition page under Physicians and the Adolescent Transition page under Resources and Support for more information.
Young Adult Transition- Washington State Resources
The Washington State Adolescent Health Transition Project
Wonderful information and tools to assist families who have children or youth with special health care needs from birth through young adulthood. This project was originally funded by the Washington State Department of Health, Children with Special Health Care Needs Program. The website and materials are now maintained by the University of Washington LEND Program.
The Center for Change in Transition Services, Seattle University
Web site provides special education teachers, directors, students and their families with resources, information and news regarding secondary special education and transition services.
Informing Families, Building Trust
Website with information from the Developmental Disabilities Council and the Division of Developmental Disabilities, in partnership with other organizations, to improve the communication available to families who have individuals with disabilities. Resource sections by age groups: 0-3, 3-16, 16-21, 21-40, and 40+ years.
ACHIEVE program at Highline Community College, Des Moines, WA
Helps transition aged students with intellectual disabilities gain access to the
array of courses and programs offered at the college. The ACHIEVE program
supports Highline's mission and values of equal access and quality educational
opportunities by providing intensive supported education and employment services
for students with intellectual disabilities to help them pursue their dreams of
ACHIEVE specifically targets young people with
intellectual disabilities who are still eligible for special education funding
from their local school districts to transition into higher education as well as
students with intellectual disabilities who have exited the K-12 system and are
between the ages of 18-24.
Occupational and Life Skills (OLS) Program- Bellevue College, WA
OLS at Bellevue College is a 90 credit associate degree program for students with varying disabilities that interfere with learning success in a traditional college environment. Specialized instruction assists students to learn course content. All courses focus on critical thinking and problem solving with an emphasis on self-determination and advocacy. Students are instructed in soft skills required to maintain successful employment. Students develop a career pathway, expand interpersonal skills, take part in service learning, and participate in internship experiences. Admissions information is available at
Young Adult Transition- National Resources
National resource for health care
professionals, families, youth, and state policy makers focusing on a young
adult's transition from pediatric to adult health care. This site serves as the
basis for an information exchange about health care transition, particularly as
pertaining to youth with special health care needs.
Transition Workbooks - Children's Medical Services Network
Health Care Transition Workbooks for Parents and Youth
Created by John Reiss, Ph.D. and Robert Gibson, MSOTR/L
and the Institute for Child Health Policy at the University
of Florida. Workbooks for ages 12-14 years, 15-17 years,
and 18 years and older.
Special Needs Trusts: Planning for the Financial Future
Many children with disabilities will outlive their parents. Experts recommend that parents who have children with disabilities who will have a hard time being financially independent set up a special needs trust. Special needs trusts can give disabled adults a cushion while allowing them to take advantage of Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.