Transition Planning into Adulthood
Turning 18 Checklist (Adapted from The Arc of Mass Transition Timeline)
- Understand Age of Majority. At age 18, all people are presumed to be legally competent to make all life decisions unless you petition for Guardianship or put other tools in place.
- Guardianship (most restrictive) – www.mass.gov/guardianship-conservatorship-of-incapacitated-persons
- Supported Decision Making (least restrictive) – www.supporteddecisions.org
- Ensure a Chapter 688 Referral is completed (if applicable) or apply for eligibility for adult services. These include the Department of Developmental Services, Department of Mental Health, MA Commission for the Blind, and MA Rehabilitation Commission.
- If your son or daughter is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Smith-Magenis Syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome, they do not need have a diagnosis of an intellectual disability to receive services from DDS.
- Apply for Social Security Benefits (SSI)/MassHealth. If SSI eligible, an individual will automatically be eligible for MassHealth. If not eligible for SSI, apply separately to the Division of Medical Assistance for MassHealth.
- Apply for Section 8 Housing Vouchers – www.affordablehousing.com/masscwl
- Register men for Selective Service – www.sss.gov/Home/Registration
- Apply for Adult Family Care (AFC) if applicable – www.massafc.org
- Have your child register to vote – www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr
- Looking into future planning – www.futureplanning.thearc.org
- Help your child actively participate in his/her IEP meeting. He/she should be part of planning their learning and life goals.
- Make sure emphasis on IEP is on post-school goals that will make the biggest differences in the life of your child.
- Continue to consider transition assessments to clarify student’s continued skill development needs.
- Invite a representative from a human service agency, (example: Transition Coordinator from DDS or MRC) to attend your child’s IEP meeting.
- Network with other families who have been through the transition process.
Other Turning 18 Checklists:
- Autism Housing Pathways: https://autismhousingpathways.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Turning18checklist_04-2021.pdf
- The Autism Program at Boston Medical Center https://www.bmc.org/sites/default/files/Patient_Care/Specialty_Care/Turning18Checklist.pdf
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