Transition to Adulthood
Parenting is a lifelong process, particularly for parents whose child’s chronological age may not correspond to their developmental baseline. New challenges emerge as your child matures, growing older and physically bigger. Available services available may change based on chronological age, without regard for physical and psychosocial continued needs. Pediatric providers may raise concerns about their ability to continue caring for your child, or you may have your own questions. Furthermore, on the day a child is legally considered an adult (18 in most states), parents no longer have decision-making authority—regardless of the child’s capacity to intellectually and independently make their own decisions. This Unit highlights aspects of these transitions. The goal is to ensure that parents or guardians anticipate and understand the issues; maintain their role as decision-makers and advocates; and ensure continuity and access to high-quality, developmentally-appropriate services for their dependent adult/child.