The Road Ahead – Literature review

3. Changes at transition

Transition to adulthood is a time of change and includes coping with:

Key areas of information need for young people with learning difficulties and their families:

  • Becoming an adult involves a shift in legal status. What changes might young people with learning difficulties and families expect to family life, routines, responsibilities, and in the shift from childhood to adult services?
  • Making your own decisions - what sorts of decisions do adults make? What practice and support can young people with learning difficulties (and families) get to help them learn to make their own decisions?
  • Looking after yourself - what sorts of things might families expect to do less of/get more support with as a young person with learning difficulties becomes an adult? What sorts of things might young people with learning difficulties learn to do for themselves, or get support to do for themselves? Issues about safety and risk.
  • Looking after your health - what might this involve? How do young people at transition get a Health Action Plan? How will having a Health Action Plan help?
  • Getting around - access to transport and equipment; issues around safety and risk; options for transport and travel; changes to transport arrangements; coping with unpredictability of public transport.
  • Money and benefits - new, age-related benefits; changes to existing benefits; carers' needs assessments; earning money through paid work; learning about money management; having a bank account; direct payments, ILF, DLA as crucial to support transition to adulthood.
  • Friendships - importance of friends; leaving/moving school, college or home; staying in touch with old friends; making new friends; how support from friends can help at transition; buddying.
  • Girlfriends, boyfriends, sex and sexuality - issues for young people and families; where to get information, support and advice.
  • Moving to adult social services - what is supposed to happen? What are young people's and families' rights to social services at transition? What to do if things don't work as they should - complaints and appeals.
  • Moving to adult health services - what is supposed to happen? What to do if things don't work as they should - complaints and appeals. How do young people at transition get a Health Action Plan? How will having a Health Action Plan help? What about hand-held records?
  • There will be different issues to consider for young men, young women, young people from minority ethnic groups, young people with high individual support needs, and young people living away from home.