Turning 22

Transition is a word that has a unique meaning to families with a son or daughter aging out of the entitlement of education at the age of 22. This transition begins well before the age of 22 as does many of the entitlement programs an individual is able to receive. South Shore Support Services through our Family Support Center and Adult Foster Care (AFC) program can guide families through this very critical time in your young adult’s life.  

For those individuals with life-long disabilities this timeline is a guide to accessing services and programs that are available.

Ages 14-16

  • Begin Transition Planning with IEP Team at annual IEP meeting. Start to discuss what your child’s life will look like at age 22, and use Transitional Planning Form (TPF) as a worksheet to develop transition goals for IEP.
  • Encourage your child to participate in community activities outside the home to develop a network of interests.

Age 17

  • Prepare for transfer of rights at age 18 (start process of guardianship, health care proxy or other decision making as appropriate)
  • Ask school about 688 referral for adult services

Age 18

  • Complete guardianship process with probate court, if appropriate.
  • Apply for SSI and MassHealth
  • Research housing options and apply for Section 8 housing voucher for future use
  • Register your male child with selective service (this does not mean they will have to serve)
  • Register your child to vote if appropriate
  • Apply for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits

Age 19-20

  • Ensure 688 referral has been submitted (2 years before leaving school)
  • Make sure special education services and goals are focused on social inclusion, self- advocacy, and independence.
  • Explore financial support for your child in their adult life (SSI, Able account, special needs trust...)

Age 21

  • Confirm adult services will be in place 3-5 months before leaving school and turning 22.
  • Work with agencies (DDS, MRC...) to explore individual living options (residential, adult foster care, personal care attendant, agency with choice, self –direction) and confirm support services for social inclusion, self -advocacy, and daily living skills as appropriate

Age 22

  • Transition from school to adult services should be complete.