4 Things to Know About Adult Life Planning


Adult life planning is overwhelming for parents in many ways -- your child is growing up and ready to spread their wings, but so many details are up in the air. Transitioning from high school to adult services takes an emotional toll, but there are other legal and financial considerations, too.

Brighter, Stronger Foundation is a behavioral health service provider serving Baltimore, Maryland and its surrounding counties. We provide services to children and adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities to help them achieve their full potential. Learn our 4 things to know about adult life planning.

1. Think About the Big Picture

When thinking about what the future holds for your child, first consider the big picture. Where do you envision them living? What employment opportunities might be right for them? Involve your child in this planning and ask for their input on what they might like to do in adulthood.

This is called person-focused planning. Don’t just plan around what resources you might think are available -- there are often more services available than you realize, and that’s where your service coordinator can help. Ask the following questions to help figure out the big picture:

  • What do you, as a parent, consider a successful adult life for your child?

  • What does your child consider a successful adult life?

  • What is required to achieve those goals?

2. Legal and Medical Matters

Your child’s legal status changes when they turn 18, so it’s important to make sure the appropriate legal matters are taken care of. For individuals needing additional support, guardianship and power of attorney should be considered. More independent or higher-functioning students may not need guardianship. A special needs attorney and your service coordinator can assist with establishing guardianship, and it’s best to start this process well before your child turns 18.

Don’t forget about state-issued photo identification, even if your child will have a legal guardian or power of attorney. Maryland complies with federal REAL ID regulations, so check with the MVA to determine required documentation.

3. Apply for Government Benefits

Parents of children with developmental disabilities aren’t alone. There are federal and state benefits available to your adult child to assist not simply with costs of care, but helping your child have a happy, fulfilling life.

If your child will remain in school until they are 21, you can apply for benefits before they finish school. Brighter, Stronger Foundation provides premier behavioral health and therapeutic care and offers services to children, transitioning students, and adults, and many of these benefits can be coordinated through our agency. The basic timeline for applying for benefits is as follows:

Your child’s school can help point you in the right direction and provide a more detailed timeline for these services. Your child likely has a dedicated transition coordinator at school who can assist with your child’s unique situation.

4. Continue Working to Increase Independence

All of us continue learning even in adulthood, and it’s important to continue building skills to increase independence in the community. There are a variety of skills that make your child more confident in their abilities and help them find placement in programs appropriate for them:

  • Hygiene and grooming

  • Interview skills

  • Appropriate socialization

  • Ability to follow directions

  • Safe travel practices

  • Self-control

Learning is a life-long journey, and continuing to build new skills will help your adult child successfully transition into a fulfilling adult life.

Baltimore, MD Behavioral Health Services
Brighter, Stronger Foundation is your family’s partner in adult life planning and service coordination. We are dedicated to providing excellent care and support to your child to help them achieve their goals. Contact us to schedule a visit or to learn more about our community!

Brighter Stronger Foundation

6 Nashua Court Suite B,

Baltimore, MD 21221

Phone. 410-574-0000 F:410-574-0002


Brighter Stronger Foundation

3465 Boxhill Corporate Center Dr.,

Ste 200,

Abingdon, MD 21009