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Transition Planning for Adolescents with Special Health Care Needs and Disabilities: A Guide for Health Care Providers

Briefly describe the activity and its purpose.

This guide is written for providers (pediatricians and nurses) but contains handouts that should be copied and given to families and adolescents. Not only are there medical, social, educational, recreational, and employment issues, but there are legal concerns to be considered when discussing transition from childhood to adulthood. This guide, in one place, details what the issues are, and the state, federal and other resources available to help address each of them.

To help providers assist families, this guide includes resources and strategies to guide physicians' interventions with families and to focus their attention on four key facets of adulthood: health, education, employment and recreation. Each of the four topic areas contain the following elements: Background information and issues, family fact sheet, and a "Taking Charge" sheet. In addition, the guide includes a provider checklist and timeline, community resources, additional tools and information, and a summary of important laws.

This guide may help to make these discussions a routine part of visits with adolescents with special health care needs and disabilities. A physician's role in incorporating and passing on information to adolescents within their practice is critical and we hope this guide will provide the tools to do so.

The transition materials included in this submission were collected as part of a grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, HRSA, grant number R40MC19925. The authors of the transition materials agreed to their inclusion in the toolbox.

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