South Dakota Parent Connection home

Health Care Transition

Even the best developed transition plans may be jeopardized if youth are unprepared to maintain their own health and well-being.

Elements of successful health care transition to adulthood include:

Transition from child-focused to adult-focused providers. 

  • Pediatric providers are family-centered and have a developmental perspective.
  • Adult providers are person-centered and have a disease prevention focus.
  • Adult providers include medical, mental, dental, vision, and hearing health professionals.

Young adults taking charge of their own health. Youth can begin:

  • Making appointments
  • Arranging transportation
  • Making their own refill orders and arranging for pickup or delivery
  • Understanding their medical condition/history
  • Recognizing when they may be having a medical emergency and having an emergency plan in place
  • Communicating directly with providers
  • Advocating if they need interpreters
  • Understanding their insurance or how payment will be made

Participating in the selection of their adult provider(s) that will:

  • Offer a quality provider/youth “fit”
  • Accept insurance/payment method
  • Provide a facility that is accessible
  • Provide needed accommodations
  • Respect culture of youth/family including decisions regarding care and level of family involvement
  • Identifying insurance coverage for age 19 and beyond to maintain medical, mental, dental, and vision health insurance.

Getting needed services and supports to achieve goals:

  • Identify needed supports (home health care, durable medical equipment, assistive technology, modifications for accessibility, medical supplies, etc.)
  • Identify available providers
  • Identify payment options

Additional Health Care Transition Resources:

MyFILE was developed for use by individuals with special health care needs and is a compact, portable organizer for personal records. This tool can assist in a variety of ways—organization of important records, learning the value of keeping key documents, and applying for services and supports. MyFILE is designed to keep current information available as youth/individuals go to appointments, apply for a job, keep track of medications and many other activities.

Learn More About MyFILE

Adolescent Health Transition Project
This site is a resource for information, materials and links designed to help smooth the transition from pediatric to adult health care for adolescents with special health care needs. Visit:

Got Transition?
A national resource for families, youth, health care professionals and state policy makers focusing on young adults’ transition from pediatric to adult health care. Visit:

Tool: Health Care Transition Checklist

Tool: Health Care Transition

Transition to Adulthood: A Health Care Guide for Youth and Families

Developed by Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)


A Young Person’s Guide to Health Care Transition
A Young Person’s Guide to Health Care Transition is about making the transition from pediatric to adult health care. This brief will review topics youth should consider around transitioning to adult health care, living a healthy lifestyle, and paying for health care. Youth need to be part of conversations about health care. Most youth rely on their parents to handle decisions about their health care and health coverage. Before you know it, you may be expected to make these decisions on your own, if you are not doing so already. This brief will provide some information and help you think about ways you can start planning now for your transition from pediatric to adult health care. Learn more.

Featured Resource

Graphical user interface


Check out our most recent publication, “Understanding School Testing and Test Scores” created to help parents better understand the data included in their child’s evaluation so they can best advocate for their needs.

Skip to content