Transitioning Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

  • Laura Pickler
  • Janet Hess


Adolescents and young adults (AYA) with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have unique health-care needs that require a carefully planned transition to adulthood. This chapter outlines ways in which transitioning AYA with IDD differ from other AYA with special health-care needs and describes considerations that make the transition process both challenging and rewarding for patients, families/caregivers, and providers. It identifies key federal, state, and community service systems that impact individuals with IDD and describes how cross-system collaboration efforts can aid transition. The authors highlight common, real-life scenarios that illustrate the experiences of clinicians and families and offer specific solutions, tools, and resources to aid with patient preparation and meet the needs of the family/caregiver and provider education and training. Attention is given to the importance of maximizing independence and self-advocacy among AYA with IDD, addressing comorbid and behavioral health conditions, and outlining steps that providers can take to fully meet their responsibilities during the transition process.


Intellectual disability Health systems Family needs Medical systems Provider roles 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Family Medicine and Clinical GeneticsUniversity of Colorado, Children’s Hospital ColoradoAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsMorsani College of Medicine, University of South FloridaTampaUSA

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