As your child approaches adulthood, it will become increasingly important to consider issues such as the further/higher education, employment, training and volunteering opportunities available for your child, and what support and funding is available. Your local SENDIAS team can discuss different options available locally and how you can access these. They’ll also be able to signpost you to a wide range of useful information and organisations that can provide additional support (eg Disability Employment Advisers at Jobcentre Plus).
If your child has an EHC Plan, a transition plan will be drawn up when they are in Year 9, which will help you and your child plan for the future. This will identify, for example, whether your child can attend college, any EHC assessment required if they need additional support from the college, and which other agencies will continue to support your child in the future.
As your child approaches adulthood, you may also need to review your child’s current living arrangements and consider whether they are able to live independently, and what support is available (eg social care for adults). You may have been receiving benefits such as DLA to help you care for your child with SEND. When they become 16, however, the benefits you are eligible for may change depending on the choices you and your child make (eg if your child leaves education or lives independently). This can have a major impact on family finances. Take a look at our Money [link] section for further information.
Your child’s particular special educational need or disability may also have an impact on their ability to make and meet friends, which could lead them to feel lonely or isolated during their teenage lives. Your SENDIAS team can provide support and advice on organisations that offer social activities for young people with SEND locally. You may need to practise common routes with your child to help them grow more confident about using public transport, and look into special allowances and concessions available locally for disabled young people to promote independent travel.
Your SENDIAS team will also be able to support you and your family emotionally and practically during this period of great change.