Challenges with Transition to Adulthood
Transition to adulthood is a vulnerable time for all individuals. Typically, this period is supported by multiple systems, including the home and family environment, educational systems, community programs and participation, and medical care. For individuals who experience TSRDs, these systems are particularly crucial. Even if these systems are all currently in place for an individual—and in many cases, often they are not—it takes a great deal of sophistication to smoothly coordinate these systems. When an individual has a TSRD, these individuals require much more intensive supports as they emerge as young adults. Various professional groups have created guidelines highlighting the importance of thoughtful, comprehensive, and coordinated transition planning, but, all too often, these guidelines are not met. We seek to achieve a high standard level of care for youths with either or both mental health disorders and neurodevelopmental disabilities. This standard applies to a minimum level of community support, care coordination, and psychosocial intervention needed for successful transition, whether the challenges arise from TSRD or ASD, or other mental health or developmental disorders. Integrated treatments are needed in order to appropriately serve the needs of individuals with complex clinical presentations. Regardless of whether challenges are attributable to trauma-inflicted injuries or genetically predisposed biological anomalies, treatment plans and supports should include an individually tailored array of evidence-based and “off-label” practices, tailored to functional assessment of the individual.
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