1. Redmon, Susan J. RN, MPH, CRRN, CCM

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Since more than 90% of adolescents and young adults with special healthcare needs and/or disabilities are living into adulthood, many federal and state agencies, universities and colleges, professional health associations, and exceptional student education programs include healthcare transition information and tools when focusing on the promotion of successful transition from childhood to adulthood. In addition to healthcare, the transition process may include information and opportunities about postsecondary education, employment and career development, independent living, asset development, and community integration. If these topics seem familiar, it could be because the transition process was previously known as "growing up"!!


When it comes to healthcare transition, there is a great deal of assistance and information that a case manager or care coordinator can provide to an adolescent or young adult, and their family, who has grown up with a chronic healthcare condition and/or disability. Depending on individuals' cognitive level, whether they can carry out some or all of the following with or without assistance, it starts with taking part in the following by the time a child enters adolescence:


* Identifying what the individuals know about their condition-their health history, medications, allergies, name(s) of their doctor(s),


* Taking responsibility for prescription refills and healthcare appointments,


* Keeping a health journal, tracking changes in healthcare,


* Asking/answering questions at the doctor's office,


* Requesting time alone with the doctor (everyone has questions that are personal and confidential in nature), and


* Learning about healthcare coverage-the costs if there are premiums, co-pay, restrictions, ands limitations (including maximum age of coverage), and so forth.



Fortunately, there are some wonderful and comprehensive resources on healthcare transition that are free of charge. The following is by no means exhaustive, but all the following sites include links that are well known for a wide variety of topics related to healthcare and other types of transition:


* Institute for Child Health Policy, University of Florida (


* The Adolescent Health Transition Project (


* Bright Future (


* Healthy and Ready To Work (