Transitioning Out

Youth 8-15 – Adult 16-21

Transition means change. When it comes to Developmental Disability Program (DDP) services, there are many changes and transitions you need to be aware of and prepare for in advance. There are several different people who can help you like teachers, counselors, service agencies (like Family Outreach), family and friends. You’ll need to work together closely with your family support specialist or case manager to plan for these changes, especially before the ages when service eligibility ends.

Children’s Services to Adult Services – Age 16

ALL children with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) who are reaching the age of 16 should start planning for transition from school to the adult world (whether receiving any services or not). School is an entitlement service, and many of the supports provided through school will no longer be available after graduation. A transition plan is a required part of each student’s school IEP starting at age 16. It addresses issues like employment, education, housing, finances, and skills for independent living. Other agencies from adult systems may participate in the planning process such as Vocational Rehabilitation. The Office of Public Instruction (OPI) and the Rural Institute on Disabilities can provide excellent resources on transition processes and planning. It is important to start this process early with planning and supports.

Transition from high school to adult living. A Case Manager is required to be a part of this process. Make sure your case manager has adequate notice about meetings or calls that are scheduled. The case manager will continue to provide supports after the child graduates from high school, so it’s important for them to be involved in transition planning to best guide prepare the family and young adult for adulthood.

May be eligible for Targeted Case Management (TCM) through DDP to help during the transition from high school to adult living. Contact your regional office (http://dphhs.mt.gov/dsd/developmentaldisabilities) for more information.

As a part of the transition plan written in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) through the school district, a psychological evaluation should be included if possible. This will assist the eligibility process for adult DDP services if DD eligibility has not already been established.
Adult services are not entitled programs and you may be placed on a waiting list. Please call your regional office well in advance.
Remember that planning ahead is key! Don’t wait until your child turns 18 to start this process, especially if you are not already on the waiting list or already receiving services through DDP.