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This Handbook helps parents to prepare their child for independent adult life. It is full of practical tips and step-by-step instructions to help families envision their child's future, develop a transition plan, and implement it. There is also a wealth of information about adults in their twenties or thirties living at home who are still struggling with finding a job, locating housing, or establishing a meaningful life in their community, and who could achieve more independence with the right guidance and supports. The book is the culmination of the author's professional and personal experiences guiding hundreds of families through the transition process, and parenting her own son with Down syndrome, now an adult living independently. Its conversational style reassures parents overwhelmed by a complex process and its frank advice offers a reality check for parents whose child will soon venture into the adult world, or whose adult child has yet to leave the nest. The Handbook outlines the steps of transitioning, with an emphasis on the necessity of the child playing an active role in the process.
It considers everything families need to know -- from meeting broad, basic needs such as finding meaningful ways to fill one's days (work, volunteering, leisure activities, training & education, exercise) and how to get around (driving vs. using public transportation) to addressing specific needs such as whether to leave high school at age 21 or earlier and how to maintain eligibility for benefits by keeping income and assets within allowable limits. Chapters address: High School; Post-Secondary Options; Testing; Residential Options; Work & other Endeavours; Transportation; Health; Family & Friends; Legal Issues; Financial Issues; Technology. Families will want this one-stop resource to demystify the transition process for teens and young adults and to help older adults still at home become more independent.
Jo Ann Simons, M.S.W., is CEO of the Cardinal Cushing Centers of Massachusetts. She is Vice-Chair of the National Down Syndrome Society and of LIFE, Inc. on Cape Cod. In addition, she served as the President of the National Down Syndrome Congress and on the Board of Special Olympics Inc, and was a founder of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress. She and her husband live in Swampscott, Massachusetts. They have two adult children, one of whom has Down syndrome.