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Getting Started
Get Diagnosed
Gathering Important Information
Organizing Your Information
The Educated Parent
Early Intervention
What To Do First
What is Early Intervention?
Keeping an IEP Notebook
Preparing for an IEP Meeting
Conducting an IEP Meeting
Individuals With Disabilities Act
IDEA ACT - A Quick Reference
IDEA Legal Text
Family Finances
Recommended Resources
Introduction to Universal Housing Design
Housing options
Building a New House ~ That Works!
Introduction to Universal Housing Design
Entrances and Thresholds
Single Family Home Resources
Remodeled Bathroom
Ceiling Lifts
Problem Spaces
Adding a Ramp
Good Restroom
Not So Good Restrooms
Great Space Adaptions
Not So Great Adaptations
Ramp Design
Ramp Design (Part 2)
Commercial Ramps
Public Access Ramps
Adding a Ramp
Retrofit Door Sill Ramp
Medical Bills
Filing an Appeal
Medical Expenses and Income Taxes
Finding Help for the Uninsured or Underinsured
Free or Discounted Prescription Programs
Medicaid Waivers
Legal Adults - Introduction
Guardianship and Declaration of Incapacitation
Establishing Guardianship and Obtaining a Declaration of Incapacitation
Dependency Determination (Military)
When to Start the Transition Process
Begin Transition - Age 14-16
Exploring Possibilities and Guardianship Issues - Age 17
Age 18
After High School Graduation - Age 19-22
Post High School Education Options
Future Housing Options
Specialized Medical Equipment
Wheelchair Evaluation
Wheelchair Safety
Introduction: Special Needs and the Military Family
DEERS & ID Cards
Dependency Determination
TriCare Introduction
TriCare Program Options
Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)
Individual Case Management
TriCare Extended Care Health Option (ECHO)
Early Intervention
Housing Options
Family Support Services
Community Contacts
Letters of Medical Sufficiency
Wheelchair Accessible Vans
Van Conversion: A good Example
Fund Raising - The Flamingo Air Project
Utah DSPD Complaint List Winter 2011

Legal Adults

An Introduction

Guiding your child through their early years, obtaining required medical treatment, enrolling in community and school programs that will aid them in their development, fostering goals and social skills are a real challenge for most families. Many parents struggle for years to ensure their child is getting the best services they can possibly find. Then, suddenly, their child is 22,has graduated from public school programs and the protective confines of the IDEA act into a very scary adult world where nothing is totally certain. Now what?

When do we need to start thinking about what to do when they leave school? When do they leave school anyway? What supports are available in the community? Are there legal issues that need to be considered? When is my child considered an adult and what, if anything, do I need to do about it? Who do I talk to and what do I do?

Preparing for adulthood begins, as it does for all of us, at birth. Individuals and families begin planning, building dreams and expectations for the future, expecting a normal, full life. For a child with disabilities this process can be more of a challenge. As with all of us, attention should be paid to each person's strength's and weaknesses. Their preferences and goals must be considered and are essential to their future success.

Before you begin this process there is one specific principal to keep in mind. That is the principal of Self Determination. Self-determination is the right to build your own ideas and dreams about what you want to do with your life. Our children, regardless of their circumstances, have that same right to the best of their ability. Most children will have a core group of goals and dreams they can voice or express to their parents starting at an early age. It is important to pay attention to these goals even if they may seem far-fetched or even impossible.

At the core of Self-Determination are the following values, which must be considered.

  • Freedom to make choices about services and supports.
  • Authority to decide how one's income and support funding is used.
  • Support from a network of resources including family, friends, and community.
  • Responsibility to be accountable for decisions and contribute to one's community.

It is important to encourage your family member with disabilities to have dreams and goals for their future, no matter how far-fetched they may seem. One way of doing this is creating a person or family-centered plan that will help guide everyone involved in this person's life in helping him or her become successful. This plan should begin early with the first transition planning goals made in the first of your child's IEP meetings.