Accessibility Options

Contact Information

Center for Disabilities Studies
University of Delaware
461 Wyoming Road
Newark DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-6974
TDD: 302-831-4689

Health Care Transition for Young Adults

As a child with disabilities ages, at some point a family will begin to think about a transitionfrom pediatric health care to adult health care.  Transitioning youth and their families may need support and resources to understand the crucial steps for a successful transition. With the right resources and supports available, the transition process can be a time to celebrate adulthood.

Quick Facts about Pediatric Care in Delaware
Many children with disabilities in Delaware receive their medical care through the Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children(AIDHC).  This care stops at the age of 18 or 21:

  • AIDHC no longer provides dental care after the age of 18
  • Medicaid no longer pays for dental care after the age of 21, no matter where you go for services
  • AIDHC no longer provides eye care after the age of 21
  • AIDHC no longer provides other medical services after the age of 21

The healthcare transition process should begin around the age of 13.

Principles of Transition Services

  • Transition is a process, not an event.
  • The transition process should begin at the day of diagnosis.
  • The adolescent and family should be involved in the decision process.
  • Providers and parents should prepare to facilitate movement.
  • Coordination of services and providers is essential. (White, 1997)

Youth should begin to take charge of their own healthcare. To the extent to which they are able, youth should be:

  • Making their own appointments
  • Calling in their own prescription refills
  • Arranging transportation to their doctor’s appointments
  • Talking with their doctor privately
  • Having a drivers license and insurance card in their possession

Local resources to help you plan for transition

Healthy Delawareans with Disabilities (HDWD) knows you may have questions about the transition process as your adolescent or young adult with a disability ages.  Through HDWD you can find  information on the medical transition process, a timeline to guide you through the process, and some links to some other useful websites on transition.

Review a list of questions for a potential new provider. This will help you assess whether this provider and their facility can accommodate your needs.

The Transition of Care Department at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children is available to help patients with the transition process. To schedule an appointment contact Cory Nourie, Patient Transition Social Work Coordinator, 302-651-4812 or

For more information on transition services and other resources/information for families, please visit the Family SHADE website.