Develop collaborative relationships with your child’s health care  providers. A successful transition requires the active participation of you, your child and your child’s health care provider.

Building a good working relationship with your child’s providers is a key component of this transition. Every medical appointment offers opportunities for you to model for your child how to take an active and collaborative role in their care.

This is done when you:

  • Share thoughts and concerns
  • Ask questions
  • Advocate for what you need
  • Make decisions together

Hear about the important role parents have during transition from Dr. Laura Richardson, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Develop collaborative relationships

Start with your child’s pediatrician or pediatric specialist.

This is a great place for your child to begin developing confidence in both taking an active role in managing their health care and seeing themselves as a key member of the health care team.

  • Appreciate how the confidence your child has gained through successfully managing daily routines at home and school can translate to the health care arena.
  • Apply strategies for shifting gears and building mastery as you prepare for and attend medical appointments.
  • Coach and support your child’s efforts to communicate directly with his/her provider.


You may need to take to take the lead in talking about transition.

Some physicians will bring it up. However, given the fast-pace of health care, transition can often take the backseat to more pressing concerns.  If this is the case, you can take the initiative by starting conversation about your child’s transition to adult healthcare.

Ask questions, such as:

  • In the future, what kind of healthcare provider would make the most sense for us to be thinking about?
  • How do you approach transitioning teens or young adults to another doctor?
  • Who would you suggest as adult health care providers for my child?
  • As we look to the future, we’d like to take a health care summary to our new provider. How much time do you need to create one?

Use tools to help you in this process. Take a look at samples of readiness check lists, health care summary forms, etc. on our Healthcare Transition Resources page.

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