Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Examining Assumptions Underlying Policy-Related Initiatives on Transition to Adulthood for Youth with Disabilities

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Examining Assumptions Underlying Policy-Related Initiatives on Transition to Adulthood for Youth with Disabilities

Article excerpt

Young people with childhood onset disabilities are living longer than previous cohorts due to advances in medical management. Yet, they are ineligible for the same care they received through pediatric-mandated health, education and social services and lack access to comprehensive, coordinated services when they become adults. Consequently, they are at risk of poor outcomes for health (e.g., increased co-morbidity and mortality) and experience negative influences on their social determinants of health (SDOH) (e.g., education, employment, and housing) in adult life. "Transition to adulthood" has been identified as both a medical and social issue that requires a lifespan perspective for interventions and policies, rather than a limited focus on the event of transfer from pediatric to adult services.

In Ontario, Canada, transition initiatives (e.g., policy guidelines and protocols) have been developed in health care, education, and social service sectors. Social assumptions (e.g., what it means to be "disabled" or an "adult") embedded in these initiatives have generally been accepted without critical examination. …

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