Youth Health Care Transition
What is Youth Health Care Transition?
Knowing what youth health care transition is all about is the first step. It is the process of
moving from pediatric to adult health care. This process takes time. During this time you
will get support while you learn and practice skills you need to be independent.
Transition includes inpatient and outpatient primary and specialty care. Planning for
transition is based on you and your family’s needs. Some youth with complex medical,
health, or other special needs, need more help than others. Our goal is for you to get the
support you need to reach your full potential. Family, friends, schools, communities and
primary care providers will help you to succeed.
Working with Your Health Care Team
As I begin to transition what are some of the questions I can ask my doctors?
You are a partner in your health care and have the right to ask for what you want. If you
are not sure about what you want, talk with your health care team. Below are some
sample questions that you and your parents can ask your doctor to get the conversation
ξ At what age does this clinic transition youth to adult care?
ξ If I am in a family practice clinic do I need to think about health care transition?
ξ Can you suggest an adult provider for me?
ξ Can you help me with transition planning? Do you have transition care plans that
ξ What community resources should I learn about?
What are some tools that can help me and my family as I transition?
You and your family are partners with the health care providers on your team. As a team
you can create and use a written transition plan. This helps the members of your team
keep track of the steps; know who is doing what, and when certain things need to be
done. A sample transition plan will include the following:
ξ A list of your pediatric doctors and health care providers by clinic and a space for
an identified adult provider in that health area.
ξ A timeline for moving from pediatric to adult care for each health area.
ξ A timeline for writing a medical summary that will be given to the adult doctor.
To find sample transition plans go to: https://www.acponline.org/clinical-information/high-
value-care/resources-for-clinicians/pediatric-to-adult-care-transitions-initiative or you can ask
your doctor what plan to use.
How will I know if the transition process is going well?
You may want to evaluate the transition process. You and your team can decide how
often to do this. There are many ways to evaluate the process.
ξ Use checklists found in the sample plans.
ξ Plan routine check-in with the health care team to review the plan. At this time
you can decide if the process is going smoothly or if there are problems to talk
ξ Keep learning more about transition. Keep in mind it is a process, not an event.
What do you need to know to get ready for transition?
There are some legal changes that happen starting at ages 12, 14 and 18. Below are some
examples of changes that you may notice:
ξ Your doctor may ask your parents to leave the room. This is so you can have a
private and sometimes confidential talk with your doctor. [Link to fact sheet:
“Why does my child’s doctor ask me to leave the room now?]
ξ Your Insurance coverage may change. This depends on whether you are covered
under your parents’ insurance plan, or if you have your own insurance through
ξ Legal rights for you and your parents change unless you take action.
o Access to medical information and decision-making.
o Authorization for Verbal Communication form.
o Power of attorney, guardianship, advance directive.
For more detail, go to the Transition Health Care Checklist:
Where can my parents and I go for more information about resources for me as a
youth with special health care needs?
You can talk with your health care team, and check out these resources:
ξ The Southern Regional Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care
Needs has resource specialists ready to help with questions:
ξ The Waisman Center has health transition materials that you can download:
ξ Crossing the Bridge to Adulthood reviews transition for youth with special needs:
ξ Health Transition Wisconsin www.healthtransitionwi.org
ξ If you have a specific health condition or disability, search the web for condition-
specific transition tools.
ξ The National Health Care Transition Center has many web-based resources for
youth, families and providers: http://www.gottransition.org/
Practicing Independence Skills
What can my parents do to help me be more independent?
From an early age they give you guidance and messages to help you look forward to life
as an adult. Below are some simple ways they can help you learn skills to be independent.
ξ Learn coaching skills to help them talk with you and teach you about your
ξ Give you chores around the house.
ξ Gently remind you that one day you will be an adult.
What skills do I need to be independent?
Everyone is unique and the level of independence you reach will vary. You and your
family can think about what it would look like for you to reach your full potential. You
may communicate with words, or you may use sign language, writing, communication
devices, pointing, story boards or other methods. You and your family can talk about
ideas for you to gain skills.
Here are some ways you can practice independence at home, school and in your
ξ Know how and when to ask for help.
ξ Find a way to tell others about your health condition.
ξ Find a way to name medicines you are taking and why.
ξ Bring your medical history or personal health record to a doctor visit using one of
o smart phone
o flash drive
ξ Write health independence goals into a 504 health plan or an Individualized
Education Program. http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/cshcn/cdrom.php
ξ Write your own health plan if a formal health plan is not available.
At your doctor’s office you can practice independence through these skills:
ξ Ask for time for you and your doctor to talk with each other.
ξ Ask for time for you and your doctor to meet alone for part or all of an office visit
ξ Call in prescriptions refills first with the help of a parent or caregiver. Work
towards doing this on your own.
ξ Schedule a doctor appointment first with the help of a parent or caregiver. Work
towards doing this on your own.
ξ Use tools to help you remember questions and your doctor’s recommendations.
Write on paper, or use an electronic device, email, voice record, or after visit
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call
if you have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with
your doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical
condition. Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on
your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©
11/2015. University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority and the Waisman Center University of
Wisconsin-Madison, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs
Program. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7324