Age 16-17


(in addition to the items already listed)

  • Apply for DVR at least two years prior to leaving school (e.g. age 16 if graduating at age 18; age 19 if graduating at age 21)
  • Contact your local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) for disability related resources at age 17.5
  • Participate in work-based learning program with your high school as available
  • Establish graduation date and plan
  • Explore post-school training and education options
  • Participate in paid work experiences in the community
  • Continue to develop self-advocacy skills including explaining what accommodations/modifications you need
  • Develop transportation strategies (e.g. drivers license, independent travel skills training, public or para-transit)
  • Obtain work incentives benefits counseling, as appropriate
  • In most states this is the age to begin the legal driving process; hopefully you have had this discussion already and have a plan in place. If the decision has been made not to pursue a driver’s license, it will be helpful to go to the Department of Transportation and obtain an official ID card in lieu of the driver’s license. Information about how to get an ID card and the application by clicking the underlined sections which will take you to the website
  • Request a referral to begin the transition to adult healthcare and/or mental health services


  • Transition Planning for Families
  • Ten Tips To Help Your Child’s Transition To Adulthood
  • Begin to consider whether Supported Decision Making or Guardianship are appropriate
  • Begin to consider the possibility of legal guardianship (BEFORE the youth reaches 18) and explore the process in your state; it is wise to have a plan in place that you can initiate at a moment’s notice should the need arise
  • Continue to provide opportunities for your child to make choices and decisions, to explore and take risks, and to learn from experiences of success and failure
  • Begin discussions regarding your child’s ability to drive, obtain insight from personal experience, educator’s, drivers education instructor, physician and occupational therapy services
  • Schedule a Neuropsychological Evaluation which will assist in determining your child’s ability to process information, whether guardianship may be appropriate, ability to make safe decisions in driving and identify areas where additional training opportunities may be needed, this will also be helpful when reviewing options for long term care following your child’s 18th birthday
  • Encourage self-determination and self-advocacy skills, the Board for People with Developmental Disabilities offers an annual self-determination conference
  • Consider joining YiPPE or PIP with your teen
  • At 17.5 years, contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center to begin discussions about long term care programs and adult services
  • Two years prior to your child leaving school, facilitate a referral to DVR (check out the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation page)
  • Assess your teen’s perception and basic knowledge of his/her special need. Fill in the gaps of understanding
  • Assist your teen to obtain a free voter ID card if a license is not obtained
  • Encourage your teen to make their own healthcare decisions, provide information and supports to help them decide
  • Investigate the age that the youth will transition to adult services for various programs and initiate the application process where applicable. Consider the following programs as a place to begin: Education and training (post-secondary, the upper age limit is 22 in most educational areas) Social Security disability programs (including Medicaid and Medicare) Residential services Vocational services Recreational/leisure activities Mental health and other medical services
  • At the annual IEP team meeting update the Post Secondary Plan (PTP) in collaboration with adult service agencies. (i.e. mental health centers, community colleges, technical institutes, etc.) to continue to assess: Vocational direction Living arrangements Transportation needs Social/recreational/leisure needs Medical/health support
  • Request a referral from your child’s primary physician to begin the transition to adult healthcare and/or mental health services

The relationship circle can be utilized to help students to determine what supports they already have.

  1. Insert a specific task or goal in the center circle
  2. Indicate the person/people that can assist with the goal
    • Note how they can help
    • Note what information they will need to help you

*underlined items contain a link to another document or will redirect you to a website for more information

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