Adolescence & Adulthood

Adolescence

For students approaching the end of their secondary school education, the IEP must also include statements about what are called transition services, which are designed to help youth with disabilities prepare for life after high school.

IDEA requires that, beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child turns 16, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP team, the IEP must include: measurable post-secondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and the transition services (including courses of study) needed to assist the child in reaching those goals.

Also, beginning no later than one year before the child reaches the age of majority under State law, the IEP must include: a statement that the child has been informed of the child’s rights under Part B of IDEA (if any) that will transfer to the child on reaching the age of majority.

Today, there are many post graduate options for adolescents with Down syndrome after achieving high school competency. Think College (see link below) is a great resource for determining college options and resources for any person with intellectual disabilities.

Additionally, there are 5 South Carolina based colleges/universities with specialized programs for adolescents with intellectual disabilities to participate in college life. In the Upstate, ClemsonLIFE™ is a two year program incorporating functional academics, independent living, employment, and social/leisure skills in a public university setting with the goal of producing self-sufficient young adults. Students successfully completing the two year program will receive a certificate of postsecondary education. For select students, an optional third year is available to assist with job placement and community integration with a decreased level of supports.(see link below)


Adulthood

The life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased substantially. In 1929, the average life span of a person with Down syndrome was nine years. Today, it is common for a person with Down syndrome to live to age sixty and beyond. In addition to living longer, people with Down syndrome are now living fuller, richer lives than ever before as family members and contributors to their community.

Many people with Down syndrome form meaningful relationships and eventually marry. Now that people with Down syndrome are living longer, the needs of adults with Down syndrome are receiving greater attention. With assistance from family and caretakers, many adults with Down syndrome have developed the skills required to hold jobs and to live semi-independently.

Premature aging is a characteristic of adults with Down syndrome. In addition, dementia, or memory loss and impaired judgment similar to that occurring in Alzheimer patients, may appear in adults with Down syndrome. This condition often occurs when the person is younger than forty years old. Family members and caretakers of an adult with Down syndrome must be prepared to intervene if the individual begins to lose the skills required for independent living.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it illegal for an employer of more than 15 individuals to discriminate against qualified individuals in application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, job training, and other terms of employment. The ADA requires that an employer provide reasonable accommodation for individuals who are qualified for a position. More information about the ADA can be obtained from the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC, 20201.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it illegal for an employer of more than 15 individuals to discriminate against qualified individuals in application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, job training, and other terms of employment. The ADA requires that an employer provide reasonable accommodation for individuals who are qualified for a position. More information about the ADA can be obtained from the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC, 20201.