Most parents of teenagers will recall stories of the challenges they face as their child grows up and becomes a young adult. For parents of a child who is disabled, has learning difficulties or is vulnerable in some way, this transition period to adulthood can be particularly difficult as they face significant changes in their lives. Over the next 6 months we will be concentrating on the subject of transition with a specific focus on the needs of children who are disabled or who have additional needs; giving families and carers practical advice on how to manage this transition.
Transition occurs between the ages of 16 and 18 but planning for this change for your disabled and vulnerable child should begin when your child is 13 or 14 years old. This is because assessing and understanding your child’s requirements needs to be an ongoing process, as many aspects of your child’s life will be affected during transition.
This blog series will cover some of the points you need to consider when planning for moving through the transitional phase of your child’s life. However, it is always important to remember that every child is an individual with different requirements. Here’s a brief overview of what we are intending to cover in this series:
Changes to the benefits that your child may be able to claim and also those that the parent/carer may or may not be entitled to when your child reaches 18 is extremely important to consider and plan for. Next month, benefits expert Jayne Knights will help parents and carers understand the new rules of Universal Credit and how parents and carers’ may be affected by this.
The legal position regarding decision making changes once a person becomes an adult and it is important to understand how your child may be affected by this. Our very own Solicitor, Katherine Miller, who specialises in planning for the future for families with disabled and vulnerable children, will highlight what needs to be considered both from a disabled individual’s point of view and their family’s/carer’s.
Education and Work
It may be possible for a disabled and vulnerable child to remain in education until the age of 25. This blog post, which will come later in this transition series, will consider the options to disabled and vulnerable individuals.
Health and Social Care
As an adult your child may receive health services from a different team of medical professionals. It’s important to consider the move from Children’s Services to Adult Services. We will aim to guide you through this change. The NHS and Mencap currently provide some useful information on this area in the meantime.
We would really like any feedback from parents and carers who have either gone through transition with a child who is disabled and vulnerable; or have thoughts or worries about their child or a child they care for going through transition in the future. Please use the comment section below to add your thoughts or questions. We would especially like to know if you would like us to cover a particular area with regards to transition for disabled and vulnerable individuals.