When parents have a child or young adult with a disability or special health care need, they take on additional roles beyond typical parents. Parents become caregivers, advocates, and decision makers in all the systems their child is involved in such as education, social service, and health. But what happens as our children become young adults? How can we prepare them to take on some of those roles to better advocate for themselves if they are able?
Within the school system a student on an individual education plan (IEP) is involved in required transition planning with their team. Health advocates at PACER Center’s Health Information Center encourage families to include skills related to health care advocacy and transitioning from the pediatric system to the adult health care system into their IEP, 504 or Individual Health Plan.
Within the health care system it is also important to help young adults understand their role as advocates so that they can best prepare for medical appointments and take ownership of their health for better health outcomes.
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