The transition to adulthood can be a challenging experience for individuals with FASD because of the expectation of increased responsibility and independence in adulthood. The unique nature of FASD, coupled with the wide range of challenges individuals with FASD face and the lack of FASD specific services available, suggests that particular attention should be paid to the transition planning process for youth with FASD.
Transition planning is a process of preparing individuals to move from one life stage to another. For youth with FASD approaching the age of 18 (adulthood), transition planning should:
- Reflect the youth’s future goals;
- Outline a shift from child to adult services;
- Identify and build strengths and natural support systems;
- Promote the greatest possible level of independence;
- Promote inclusion in the community;
- Identify the needs of the youth and their families; and
- Promote self-determination.
Transition planning is a challenging process. FASD affects each individual uniquely, so each transition plan then must be unique to each individual’s situation and available resources.
In Canada, there are a number of documents outlining the transition planning process and how to implement a plan in various provinces for youth with developmental disabilities. However, very few youths with FASD in Canada actually have a transition plan in place. The intent of this research was to evaluate the current tools available and provide recommendations from this evaluation to better support youth and their families through this process.
Several Canadian provinces have transition planning tools and resources that are helpful when considering the needs of youth with FASD in their transition to adulthood. Some provinces have FASD specific transition tools (e.g the Alberta Youth with FASD Transitioning Initiative Toolkit and Strategies Not Solutions), while others have broadly released tools for youth with developmental disabilities. (Read more…)