Leaving school and moving into adult life can be an exciting and challenging time for young people and their parents, with lots of changes and choices to be made about the future.

If your son or daughter has a learning disability, making this transition can be even more complicated. You may be receiving support from a number of different agencies, including health, social care and education services, and these will all change as your child approaches adulthood. In addition, these changes may happen at different times and may not always join up.

To make sure your son or daughter has a positive experience of transition and receives the right support, you as a parent need to make sure that you have the right information and are well prepared for the process. 

To begin with we had no idea about the key stages in the transition process. They organised the odd work experience placement for him, and tried him on a course for a week, but there wasn't much else. However, by the end of the process I had become a bit of an expert!

These pages offer advice and information for parents and carers about the transition process – how to survive it and how to make sure you are able to make successful and positive plans for the future.  

Throughout you will find links to other useful organisations and websites, as well as advice and tips from parents who have already been through the transition process. There is also information on action you can take – look for the "what next?" sign for things you can do.

You can find a short explanation of important words and phrases in the key words section at the end of this guide. 

This information is also available to download as a PDF.

More information on this can also be found on the Leaving school page, where you can download the Leaving school factsheet.


Transport and leisure

Whatever your son or daughter has planned for the future, it is vital to think about any travel arrangements they may need and how these will be paid for.

Friends and relationships

Most young people with or without a learning disability will want to develop friendships and may be thinking about sexual relationships at this time.

Where else can I go for support?

There are a number of other services that can offer support to you and your family during the transition process: 

How can I complain?

If you disagree with anything that is written in your son or daughter's transition plan, or if they have been refused services that are in this plan, you can consider making a complaint.

Further help

Find out about other organisations and resources offering support during the transition process.

Key words

Get definitions of some of the key words and phrases you may hear during the transition process.