Young people with disabilities are exactly the same as
young people without disabilities, however, having a
disability could mean they are unable to do the things that
other people can do. They may face more challenges, but
life can still be as fun and full of achievement.
"Being a teenager can be a tough time, sometimes it’s even harder with a disability."
Everyone wants to fit in and it can be easy to feel they are
alone. Remember they don’t have to go it alone - there’s
loads of support, practical and financial help out there for
This can be an exciting time. Up until now, their parents
have probably made all their decisions - now they can start
to make some choices for themself.
Whether they’re at a special needs, mainstream school or
college, a good education can improve their chances later
in life, education is important for everyone.
Just because they have a disability of some sort does not
mean they can’t live a full and exciting life.
In healthcare, the word ‘transition’ is used to describe the
planning, preparing and moving on from children’s
healthcare to adult healthcare. It’s a gradual process and
gives everyone time to talk about what healthcare they will
need as an adult, choose which adult hospital or services
are best for them and make sure they are ready for the
Most young people move on to an adult hospital and adult
hospital services between 16 and 18 years old.
Sometimes, young people move from a children’s hospital
to an adolescent unit at 13 or 14 years old, instead of
moving straight to an adult hospital. They can ask the
consultant or clinical nurse specialist about when they will
be making the move.
Young people will be given a lot more independence,
where appropriate and will be encouraged to learn about
their condition, so that they can be more involved in their
care and decision making and take responsibility for their
Try to keep a list of important emergency telephone
numbers. They may find an ‘Alert’ bracelet useful, if they
have a condition that may change suddenly.
Think about making their own appointments. At the adult
service, during appointments or admissions, doctors,
nurses and other staff will spend more time talking to the
young person than their parents, although they are still
encouraged to attend the appointments.
If they are not able to make their own decisions after the
age of 16 get them to talk to their personal adviser or
social worker for advice on mental capacity and the role of
deputyship in regards to health matters.
020 7233 6600
Short breaks for disabled children
Action for Kids
020 8347 8111
0808 800 3333
For brothers and sisters of disabled children
PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide)
National Confidential Helpline
HOPELineUK 0800 068 41 41
(Mon-Fri 10am to 10pm; Weekends 2pm to
10pm; Bank Holidays 2pm to 5pm)