Age 14Prepare for becoming and adult
Disability means different things in different programs. How a person identifies themselves with a disability can be very different than how Social Security defines “disability”. This definition becomes even more important when someone transitions from childhood benefits to adulthood benefits.
Here are some things you can do at Age 14 to help you prepare for becoming an adult (Yeah!)
You don’t have to do these in any particular order.
Just dive in and get started!
You Should KnowGetting started when you are 14 will give you lots of time to prepare for becoming an adult!
Think about what you want to do after high school.
Talk with your parents, teachers, counselors, friends or anyone else you trust about your future. What are your interests and skills? Is there a job or career you have always been interested in?
Decide what goals are important to you.
Work with your teachers and family to come up with goals that you want to work on. They can be part of the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or personal goals.
Learn about your disability.
No matter what your goals are for after high school, it’s really helpful to be able to describe your disability, know how it affects you, and be able to request reasonable accommodations.
Find out what benefits you get.
Benefits usually mean the money you receive through Social Security. There are different types of programs that provide benefits with different names and different rules. The two common benefits for teens are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Title II. There are different rules for each program and the rules change when you turn 18.
Get to know your doctor.
As you get older, you may find that the nurses and doctors will be directing their conversations more towards you, and less to your parents or guardians. They are trying to help you get more comfortable talking to them about your medical needs and concerns. There may also be a time when your parent or guardian will be asked to step out of the room so the two of you can talk privately.
Practice being more independent!
What can you do to help out at home? Now is the time to do your chores without being told.
Why not join a club, sport, or play. Or, help out in your community. Maybe it’s helping at an animal shelter or rescue group. Maybe it’s helping at a preschool or library. Ask your family, friends, and teachers about their ideas. You can join on your own or find a friend to join you.