Adolescent Health Transition Project
Learning about
Preparing for Transition
Using the Adult System

Questions Many Teens Ask

How can I select the best health care provider for me?girl in library
If you are switching to an adult practitioner, ask for suggestions from your local hospital's referral service, the national organization of your chronic illness or disability, your present pediatric doctor, and other adults with your disability or illness. Remember, you can interview a doctor before you decide to choose him or her as your doctor. If you are staying with your family care practitioner, tell him or her that you are working toward taking responsibility for your own health care.

How should I prepare for my health care appointment?
If it's your first appointment, make sure you schedule enough time for it. The staff person scheduling your appointment should be able to help you estimate how much time you'll need. Write down your concerns and questions ahead of time. Write a short summary of your condition, including past and present treatments and medications, to share with your health care provider. Bring any equipment you use with you. You also may want to bring paper and pencil to take notes to read later, or you may bring a tape recorder to record your visit. (Request the provider's permission before you use a tape recorder.)

How do I work with my health care professionals to get the most out of my medical plan?
Take responsibility for becoming part of the team that determines your care. Ask questions! Be straightforward and thoughtful when you talk with health care professionals. Be considerate, and have a positive attitude.

How can I gain some control over my health care, and make my own decisions?
Be well-informed about yourself. Read about your disability or chronic illness. Ask your health care professional what you can expect of your body, now and in the future. Talk to other people who have the same disability or illness.

How can I get the information and help I need with my health concerns?
Other people have similar concerns, so you're not alone. There are lots of resources for you, but to find them you need to be persistent and not give up. Check with your pediatrician or family practitioner, your school or public library, organizations that represent people with your disability or chronic illness, newsletters, and state and national government offices for persons with disabilities.

How do I deal with my feelings about what is happening with my body?
Again, you're not alone. Lots of people have had similar feelings and concerns. It helps to talk with other teens or adults who share your disability or illness. It's also a good idea to attend peer support groups and organizations. Psychologists, nurses, social workers, school counselors, ministers, rabbis, and priests can also offer support and guidance. You can also read books by people who have learned to deal with disability or chronic illness, and magazines written especially for people with disabilities or chronic illness.


This project is housed at the Center on Human Development and Disability (CHDD) at the University of Washington
Box 357920, Seattle, WA 98195-7920 | 206.685.1350 | Fax: 206.598.7815
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