The Need for Youthhood
The majority of young adults never have an extended period of time to develop a formal plan for the future. Most planning takes place at home or within those precious few minutes that students spend with their guidance councilor every year. The exception to this is the future planning process used with students with disabilities and their families - also known as transition planning.
Transition can be seen as a passage from one place or time to another. In educational settings, students make many transitions: from home to preschool, from preschool to kindergarten, from kindergarten to first grade, from elementary school to middle school, from middle school to high school, AND from high school to postsecondary experiences. Although all of these transition periods can be difficult for students and family, no transition quite compares to that of leaving the formal K-12 school setting and launching into adulthood. This period of transition requires particular attention because, unless prepared for, it can be an uncharted course full of challenges and changes for all young adults.
Transition curricula are not new to the educational field. A wide variety of transition materials were originally developed in the disability community. Youth and young adults with disabilities are mandated by law to have a transition plan called an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that provides a formal path for achieving future goals. However, little has been done to address the transition needs of young adults without disabilities. ALL young adults go through transition into adulthood, regardless of whether or not they have a disability. Each young adult has their own unique needs, dreams, goals, issues, and plans for their future. Each young adult also needs support and guidance as well as time to plan for the future. The Youthhood provides that opportunity. Certain segments that specifically address disability issues have been included. But the majority of the site is focused on what every young adult needs to do to explore their life and plan for the future.