Transitions to adulthood for young people with complex needs need more time and resources, according to the early results of a programme run by the deafblind charity Sense.
In a talk at the National Children and Adults Services Conference, deputy head of policy Kate Fitch said Sense’s work with deafblind young people found that they live in “the here and now”, are not used to making decisions and are sheltered from the transition process.
Speaking to Community Care afterwards, Fitch said that transitions for young people with complex needs often go wrong when not enough time and resources have been put into managing it.
She said there is no easy way of handling transitions for young people with complex need but stressed the importance of getting to know the young person as their preferences are often very different to their parents and the professionals who support them.
Sense, she said, had been using a variety of methods to ease the transition process for deafblind young people. “We were using things like one-page profiles and finding creative ways for young people to express what their preferences are by using whatever method of communication they can use,” she said.
She added that the use of objects of reference or photographs can overcome language barriers.
Sense intends to publish a pack outlining the findings from its transitions work later this year.