For the past nine months or so, I have been preparing for my twin sons 18th birthday in a way that you may not think.
Instead of focusing on the “typical” things like high school graduation, proms and life after high school, I have been preparing for my sons turning 18 to ensure they continue to receive necessary services and then transition for both them and my family is made as seamless as possible. I have started having the conversation with their current slew of specialty doctors that they see if they know of any good specialists that they can refer me to that provide the same services that my sons currently receive but to adults. Some have said that my sons can continue with the same practitioners while others have given me other doctor’s names to ease the transition to the adult medical world of services.
Working in the field has offered me the opportunity to know a little more in what the DDS Adult intake eligibility process entails. I applied on behalf of my sons in the beginning of this year as there typically is an extensive waiting period from the time you apply and the person is deemed eligible. This process can be tedious as there is an extensive written application and supported documentation that needs to be mailed in with the application. I have already met with the intake person along with my sons and now am waiting for their decision.
In a few short months, I will be heading to the local Social Security office to apply on their behalf for Social Security income which will entail gathering additional paperwork to see if they qualify for this benefit. I have started gathering their current IEP’s, social security cards, and birth certificates to help with this process.
I also have begun to review their guardianship paperwork. This is a very personal choice for families. I found helpful info at the Massachusetts Guardianship Association.“The MGA is a non-profit organization offering information and resources to individuals, families, and professionals on Guardianship and related matters in Massachusetts.” On this site, you can find Information and Videos on Guardianship of a Minor, Guardianship of an Adult, including info on a Roger’s Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Alternatives to Guardianship and Conservatorship for Adults. I found that it explained the different options in a clear way that made it easier to understand what options you have for your child.
This process can seem overwhelming, but with a little planning and thinking about your child’s future needs, it can be done without having to experience too much of an issue in our children’s lives and also in our lives.