Transitioning for Individuals with Disability: A Discussion

 January 8, 2016
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Friday, Jan 8th, 2015

Good morning everyone, and welcome to our first blog post of 2016! On behalf of everyone here at M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC, we would like to wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year. We would also like to thank you for your continued support and patronage; we look forward to continuing to provide quality and reliable financial and life planning services to our clients over the next year, and well into the future.

As we all know, the New Year is literally and symbolically a time of change, growth, and evolution. Therefore, we felt that if was only fitting to write a blog post that reflects this theme by focusing on a topic that is very important in the disability community: transitioning. Please join us!

Transitioning: What is it?

When used in reference to individuals in the disability community, transitioning refers to the key points throughout the life of an individual with disability when services and supports may change, i.e. moving from Early Intervention services to the public/private school system, leaving elementary school for high school, or preparing to leave high school for adult employment and independent living – in short, transitioning refers to any time of great change in the life of a person with special needs.

If you are a parent of an individual with disability that has already undergone a transition period, then you may be very aware of how stressful this time can be. It is a time of decision making and planning, and as parents know this decision making and planning process can drastically affect the future of your child, whether for the positive or the negative. Many families do not have the support – financial, emotional, or even in regards to being able to access the right information – to feel secure in the decisions that they do make. And, in addition to all of that, periods of transition are also periods of adjustment for individuals with disabilities as they let go of familiar routines and relationships, and focus on creating new ones.

At M&L, we have written and published a number of different blogs on the transitioning process, and we also have designed and often present a workshop titled Transitioning Planning & A Discussion of Post Secondary Options. We also cover transitioning in our workshop Navigating the Financial World & Transitioning Planning. These blogs and workshops are designed to walk parents through the transitioning process and provide them with access to the information and resources that are needed to help their child successfully navigate this period in their lives. Our Navigating the Financial World workshop is being presented Tuesday, March 1st, if you are interested in attending this workshop, or would like to know the next time we will present our Transitioning Planning & Post Secondary workshop, please contact us.

Transition POINTS – The Arc of Northern Virginia

Another excellent resource for transitioning support and information comes from The Arc of Northern Virginia, and is their Transition POINTS (Providing Opportunities, Information Networking and Transition Support) Program. As is written in the program’s fact sheet, Transition POINTS is designed to “provide families with realistic, actionable information with which they can make a wide range of decisions over the whole life of their loved one with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

There are a number of key features of the Transition POINTS program; to begin, the program is available to parents from the very earliest days of parenthood and lasts throughout the entire life of the individual with disability. The program begins with early intervention, is in place through to transitioning out of the school system, and even provides support to individuals with disability as they age. The program offers decision-making support, such as workshops, toolkits, hotline for information and advice, etc. As well, through this program the Arc enables participants to network and work with other disability support and advocacy organizations, which in turn have their own unique and important support services.

As there are a number of different transitioning points, Transition POINTS has a series of guides for each step of the journey. The guides, titled “Securing a Future for Your Child with A Disability”, “Entering the World of Work”, “Finding a Home” (also available in Korean), and “Aging with a Disability” truly do help individuals with disabilities with transitioning concerns across the lifespan. It should also be noted that two additional guides, Early Intervention and Education, are in the works and will be published soon.

If you would like more information on these guides, please visit the Arc of Northern Virginia’s website, www.thearcofnova.org.

Would You Like More Information?

Thank you all for taking the time to visit our blog today! We hope that we provided with you some information and a new valuable resource to add to your special needs life planning toolkit; as always, if you have any questions on anything in this blog, or would like to discuss how you can being life planning for your loved ones with a disability, please contact us!

M&L also has a number of very informative workshops coming up in the next few weeks; on February 3rd we will be presenting a workshop on government benefits SSI/Medicaid and SSDI/Medicare, and, as mentioned, on March 1st we will be offering our Navigating the Financial World & Transitioning Planning workshops. Please contact us or follow the link to register. We hope to see you there!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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