Teens and Transitions

Transitioning through Adolescence

The process of growing up and becoming independent is sometimes called “transition”. The term refers to the transition from adolescence to adulthood and is often used when a child is:

  • Learning to be more independent
  • Learning to manage his or her own health care
  • Changing from pediatric to adult oriented medical care
  • Moving from school to  college or work and other aspects of adult life

Transition for a child with special health care needs poses additional challenges for the child and family.

Beginning around age 11 years the pediatric health care team at Middleboro Pediatrics will start to discuss transition topics and goals with you.

An outline of these topics includes but is not limited to:

Medical Care: Starting from age 11 years we will offer each patient individual private consultation with his or her health care provider at each yearly well visit and as needed for sick visits. We will continue to provide anticipatory guidance on nutrition, exercise and fitness, and safety and will discuss topics such as substance abuse, developing healthy relationships and understanding mental health problems. We will encourage an understanding of healthy living, knowledge of one’s own health care needs and responsibility for individual health care through self -advocacy.

Education: We will encourage each adolescent to plan ahead and develop goals in high school towards further education and employment and to understand and be involved in   individual educational planning (IEP) if needed.

Employment: We may discuss work experience, job related skills and routes to employment

Recreation and Community Involvement: We will discuss identifying school based, community and in home recreational options and developing strategies to foster friendship and relationships outside the family.

Independent Living Skills: We will discuss managing your own hygiene, time, money, independent travel and use of technology.

Relationships: We will encourage open communication with family and healthy age appropriate relationships. We will discuss sexuality in the context of family, cultural and religious preferences. We will encourage recognition of emotional problems and screen for mental health problems in order to seek help when needed.

Adolescents with Special Health Care Needs: We will focus on care coordination. Topics may include developing an emergency care summary and a medical summary identifying need for adaptive equipment and discussing legal issues such as guardianship.

Transition and Transfer: We hope you will continue your health care with Middleboro Pediatrics until you reach age 22 however we encourage you to plan ahead.

We will discuss specific topics during late adolescence including:

  • Confidentiality and legal rights of adolescents
  • Information on Health Care Proxy decisions
  • How to find and adult care provider
  • Transferring to adult medicine

We hope this outline will provide a framework to help you understand and participate in the transition and transfer process and most of all to encourage open communication with your health care provider.

By clicking on the links you will be able to access further tip sheets, check lists and resources, which may be helpful.