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Preparing for the age of majority with a teen with special needs

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2021 | Guardianship

The age of majority is 18 years old in Pennsylvania. This is the point when teenagers are supposed to become adults and make their own personal decisions. However, this is not as straightforward for teens with special needs. The state has to decide how to transfer a parent’s rights when a child reaches the age of majority.

Transfer of rights

Your parental rights will transfer to your son or daughter once reaching the age of majority. You must know about an upcoming transfer of rights from your school officials. Prepare at least one year in advance if you want to obtain guardianship for disabled children reaching age of majority.

New responsibilities

Upon reaching the proper age, you as the parent and your adult child will have new responsibilities. A new adult with special needs has to learn how to drive, obtain employment, apply for housing, register to vote, and do other tasks.

Before reaching the age of majority, the parent and teen have to participate in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings to plan for the teen’s future after completing high school. Part of this transition planning is deciding whether or not to continue education.

It’s also crucial that the child should become more self-aware of his or her disability. This includes discussing how severe the disability is in completing day-to-day tasks. It also includes requesting the right accommodations and support devices to make life easier as an adult.

Preparing for the future

Every minor gains new responsibilities when they attain major age and become an adult. However, a teen with special needs will have additional concerns to think about due to his or her disability. The age of majority gives individual freedom, but it presents a number of challenges, so the process must be handled carefully by both the parent and teen.