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Transition to Adulthood & Adulthood

Transition is considered to be the period between the ages of 16 and 21. During this time, someone with developmental disabilities who is receiving services confers with their team to set goals and make plans for the services and other supports (including natural supports) that they will need as they enter adulthood. Those same considerations carry over into planning during adulthood in areas such as work, housing, secondary education, and relationships.

  • Transition to Adulthood & Adulthood
  • Living Arrangements
  • Employment & Finances
  • Relationships
  • Mental & Physical Health
  • Community Participation

Transition to Adulthood & Adulthood

A fulfilling whole life has many moving parts that make it run smoothly.

A man working in a greenhouse.


Young people with developmental disabilities can get a head start on preparing for adulthood by engaging in transition planning through their school. Designing a plan that includes building crucial life skills and anticipates supports that may be needed can set a young person up for success as they grow into this next phase of life.

Service Planning in Adulthood

Many people with developmental disabilities enter the service system when they are children. Often enough, however, people do not seek services until adulthood. They may want to access assistance beyond natural supports at that time. Paid services through state and federal funding are available for those who qualify. Find out more about Accessing Support Services in Adulthood.

Adult Support Services

Our lives are interdependent, and as adults with and without developmental disabilities we may get help and support from all around us. A parent may continue to provide housing to their adult son or daughter, a friend may give that person a ride to work, or community members may see the person at their local coffee shop each morning to chat and inquire about their wellbeing. These are all examples of natural supports. There are many options for paid supports, which are often needed to supplement available natural supports.

More Resources

Training Events

Learn more about training opportunities related to adolescents and adults with disabilities.

Webinars & Media

View or listen to free webinars and podcasts for parents, family members, caregivers, or professionals on topics pertaining to transition to adulthood & adulthood.


Explore tipsheets and other readings for continued learning in Adulthood topics.