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Successful Transitions

You Can Do This!

Five Keys to Successful Transitions

Tips for Successful Transitions

There is no magic formula. But there is accepted wisdom about what "works" and it cuts across all the different transition scenarios. You will do well to base your own approach on the following five tried-and-true ideas.

Five Keys to Successful Transitions

Early and Continuous Planning

Well in advance, take time to anticipate the many practical elements of a future transition. Work to identify "who, what, when" for every aspect of the change. Write it down. Revisit and revise the plan as time passes.

Knowledgeable and Trustworthy Advisers

Find and work with people who know what they are talking about. Friends and family are important and helpful to talk to, but don't stop there. Seek out professionals who understand the technicalities of service systems and can tell you about more options that your personal network doesn't know about.

Clear Goals

Think through and decide what you want or need to accomplish in both the short term and the long term. Check off and celebrate your milestones as you achieve them so you can build on your progress. Steps for Goal Setting


Take personal responsibility for what happens to you. Whenever possible and to the best of your ability, speak for yourself.

Some Key Points to Remember

  • Transition is a process, not an event.
  • Start EARLY!!
  • Think of transition as a tree, not a tunnel. There is no singular, correct path to follow. You and your family will have to choose the branch or path that works best for you.
  • No government program can ever address all of your needs. Family/caregiver involvement is crucial.
  • Youth and adults with disabilities can work.
  • Youth and adults with disabilities can live independently.

Developed by the Council on Children and Families and Funded by the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council