How to Grow With It

IDEA requires transition plans for moving from one phase of life to another, and the move from teenager to young adult to adult is no exception. The special services team, which can include family, teachers, a school psychologist, and other developmental specialists, makes the transition plan based on the individual's needs, interests, and skills. These plans may include vocational assessment and training, additional education, supported employment, and community participation. IDEA requires that the plan be in place by the time the individual is 16 years old. The plan will also consider the individual's level of independence to determine what type of living arrangements he or she might benefit from in the future.

As the teenager with Fragile X gets closer to finishing high school, or to his or her 21st birthday, the structure of his or her day may change to include work/study programs, job-related behavior training, and independent living classes. With the proper treatment and training, a young person with Fragile X may be able to live on his or her own, hold a job, and be and active member of his or her community.

For more information on Support for Community Living and Employment/Transition to work, please visit:

Vocational Rehabilitation

What is Voc Rehab? Why does my child need Voc Rehab? These are questions often asked by parents of children and teens with special needs. Here we are providing you with 8 steps to help you in the process...

1. Determine with your child what he/she would like to do when he/she leaves high school. If your child has significant physical or developmental challenges, you may want to contact your local CARD (Center for Autism and Related Disabilities) office to develop a person centered plan. If possible, this should be done shortly before or as possible after your child turns 14 years of age.

2. If your child is not involved and qualifies for Exceptional Student Education (ESE) and does not have an IEP, you should begin this process at least by the age of 16.

3. VR services will not be available until your child turns 18: however, it is a good idea to begin learning about VR services when your child is 14 because this is when the Individual Education Plan (IEP) will first address transitioning your child from the school system to post high school education or training. There is an excellent website: or you can call 1-800-451-4327 for nearest local VR office.

4. Contact the VR office nearest to you and let them know you are just trying to prepare for a transition IEP and you want to know what services VR offers and what you will need to access these services.

5. If your child is not an ESE student, you may ask that VR representative and the guidance counselor meet to discuss what part VR can play in helping to make your child's post high school goals a success.

6. Let the VR representative you speak with know that you would like someone from VR to be present at the Transition IEP meeting. Also, let your child's school know that you have asked for VR to be present. Often, the school may do this for you.

7. Depending on when your child will graduate, you may want to have the VR person present at successive IEP meetings; certainly, they should be present for pre-graduation IEP's or student-counselor meetings.

8. Try to keep all evaluations and medical records in an organized and chronological as this will expedite the qualifying process for VR.

9. Always remember that this agency is charged with assisting anyone with a physical, mental, or developmental disability as defined by the Vocation Rehabilitation Act to achieve their educational and occupational goals. They can provide everything from assistive technological devices to vehicle modifications and transportation as well as supported employment and books.

If your child's needs change, his or her VR service plan or IEP should reflect that change!

Steps to apply for Supplemental Security Income or SSI

Many people are intimidated when it comes to applying for SSI benefits. If you follow these steps the entire process should be a little less stressful.

Where to apply:

What you need:

If your child is under the age of 18 you need to provide records that show your income and resources, as well as those of your child.

SSI employees will also ask you to describe in your own words how your child's disability affects his or her ability to function on a day to day basis.

You should also have on hand school records, contact information of teachers and daycare centers that your child attended as well as some family members who can provide information about how your child functions.

Other information you can have to speed up the process:

You can call your local Family Health Partner, at your local Children's Medical Services Office, for any questions or other assistance needed.

How do I apply for Child Support Enforcement?

Info you need to have:

Where to get application:

Steps for filling out the application:


If you have any questions regarding the completion of the application call: 1-800-622-5437.

Your local Family Health Partner is also available to answer your questions and turn you in the right direction to receive support for your children.

How do I know if my child qualifies for Med-Waiver or services form APD?

Applying for Services:

Persons desiring to apply for APD services may do so at any time by completing the Application Form available on-line at and forwarding it to their local APD Area Office. While the application is available on-line, it cannot be submitted on-line. An appointment may be made at the local APD Area Office serving their community to complete a paper application.

Eligibility for services from Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is determined at two levels. First, determination of whether or not the individual is eligible for services based on criteria established for the Agency. Second is based on criteria established by Medicaid.

APD Eligibility:

Medicaid Waiver Eligibility:

Medicaid Eligibility:

Determination can take up to 90 days depending on the complexity of the situation. When Medicaid Eligibility is determined the Agency for Persons with Disabilities will enroll the person in the appropriate waiver. The file is the transferred to a Waiver Support Coordinator selected by the individual or family. *In Florida currently, there is a waiting list for these services. When it is determined that the person is eligible that person will be placed on the waiting list until funds become available.