Transitioning into Adulthood with Cerebral Palsy

04/07/16  1:23 PM PST
transitioning into adulthood with cerebral palsy

It is not easy to care for a child or adolescent with cerebral palsy. Just when you think you have it all sorted out, it’s time to help him adapt to adult life. Transitioning into adulthood with cerebral palsy requires multiple resources and careful planning.

By law, children with disabilities must be provided free education and related resources (speech or occupational therapy, for example) until the age of twenty-one. By the age of sixteen, each child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) should begin to incorporate plans for life after high school.

IEPs are designed to help ease the transition into adulthood but there are still many questions to be answered.

Here are some helpful resources to guide you through some of the most frequently asked questions.

Where will my adult child live and how will he pay for it?

Look for a good list of organizations that offer housing assistance and resources for people with disabilities.

If you scroll down on the link above, you will also find information on financial assistance. In addition to Social Security and Medicaid, there are other government assistance programs, non-profit organizations, and state programs that provide financial help to those with disabilities.

What about education after high school? is a good place to start. Here you can compare 246 college programs for those with intellectual disabilities.

How can my adult child find employment?

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is run by the U.S. Department of Labor.  Here, you’ll find helpful information on work accommodations and legal requirements for employers under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In addition, there are organizations dedicated to finding work for those with disabilities.

What will happen if I am unable to care for my child?

If your child needs life-long care, it is important to designate a guardian and a conservator (often the same person) in case you are unable to continue to care for him.

How do I begin transitioning into adulthood with cerebral palsy?

Here is a helpful link with further information for easing your child’s transition.


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