Teenagers with special needs becoming adults

 Guiding Your teenager with Special Needs through the Transition to Adult Life: Tools for Parents
 Mary Korpi
 Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
 ISBN: 978184310874 0

 Available from www.jkp.com

 Star rating: 2/5

At first glance this looks like a much-needed resource book, as this can be a time of anxiety for many families who are unsure what choices their young person has among the myriad of agencies out there.

The book is in two halves. The first half focuses on what families need to be thinking about now their son/daughter with special needs is growing up, and what they can do at home, adapting their everyday routines and also their attitudes to the changes that are happening. For example, it talks about young people’s increasing need for privacy, and learning new responsibilities and skills as much as possible within a familiar environment.

This section ends well with an important emphasis on person-centred planning for young people as a way of putting them at the centre of the whole process.

The later part of the book is all about the systems, organisations, advice and support that are ‘out there’ for people in transition. This is where the book is not useful to parents in the UK. Written by an American author, about US systems and agencies, much of the information is not relevant to this country, and could confuse families further at a time when they are facing a wealth of new things to consider. As a professional I was interested to look through to see what the similarities are, but I would advise British parents and carers not to bother.

Mandy Johnson is a social worker with disabled children and adults

This review is published in the 31 July issue of Community Care magazine

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