CADES Transition Guide

cades transition app

CADES Transition Guide: Age 17-18

Did You Remember To?

Apply for Social Security
Explore Guardianship and Power of Attorney
Apply for Waiver Funding
Obtain State ID/Non-driver’s License
Register to Vote
Register for Selective Services (required for males)
Explore/Tour Adult Day Programs
Begin to speak with Transition Teams at your child’s medical center


At age 18 you can apply for social security based on your adult child’s own income. 

There is an in-person interview in addition to phone intake. There are forms to fill out and you will be asked to give permission to request records from doctors, school, etc. Requests for IEPs and other school documents will come directly to GCMS. We will compile all the necessary documentation on our end and send it directly to the Social Security office.

For more information call 1-800-932-4600 or visit:


Consider obtaining legal guardianship, general power of attorney, and medical power of attorney. Weigh the pros and cons to determine what fits the needs of your family and child.

Guardianship requires a hearing in front of a judge and there are fees involved. Attorney support is helpful but not a requirement. Power of Attorney requires a notary.

For legal aid call Legal Clinic for the Disabled at 215-587-3350.
Intake is on Wednesdays from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm


Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance (Medicaid) program includes Home and Community-Based Services waivers.  Several waivers are administered by the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) of the PA Department of Human Services. 

Each county has an Administrative Entity (AE) that allocates the available slots for waivers that are administered through ODP. This is where your child’s PUNS assessment is important!! When a waiver slot becomes available, the AE consults the PUNS assessment to determine the needs of the individuals on the waitlist and assign them a waiver. 

There are several different waivers and the pros and cons of each should be considered with your Service Coordinator in order to determine what best meets your child’s needs. 

For more information visit:


Upon turning 18 it is important to obtain a PA state issued non-driver Photo ID. You will need your adult child’s:

  • Social Security Card
  • Birth Certificate 
  • Two proofs of address (items mailed to your house addressed to your adult child)
  • Fee payable by check or money order

For more information in PA, call: 1-800-932-4600 or visit:


If you are establishing residency, register to vote according to the laws of that state. Individuals who are determined to be incompetent (i.e. have a legal guardian) are still eligible to vote in the state of Pennsylvania.


If you have a son, he must apply for Selective Service. Selective Service is a requirement for men 18 years of age. Each male has 30 days from the time they turn 18 years old to register with Selective Service. It takes a few minutes to complete the registration and you should print a copy of the page with the SS# and date it was given. You can also visit the local post office and ask for the Selective Service System (Form 1-M), that the Post Office should have on hand. Complete the form and mail it in. If there is ever a draft and your son is called, a waiver due to medical/physical/cognitive disabilities is completed.

Registration can be done online at:



The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is guided by the principles of Everyday Lives: Values in Action. The Everyday Lives publication was created by over 200 stakeholders and is founded on the understanding that all people with disabilities have a right to an everyday life that is no different from other citizens. It outlines research based best practices for providers to incorporate in daily programming. Providers of services to individuals with disabilities are responsible to follow the recommendations provided by Everyday Lives to ensure that what is important to the individual and the family is prioritized. 


At age 18 you may want to starting looking at post school programs including Adult Day Programs. There are many day programs throughout the area with varying opportunities of community involvement and social activities.  Your supports coordinator can help provide a list of local programs and can tour these facilities with you. Most programs are funded through waivers. 


Consider whether your young adult child would enjoy volunteering/working in the community. If this is something of interest, 1:1 support may be required. We encourage you to research places that would allow 1:1 support in your neighborhood. 

While at CADES, your child has been working on various jobs around the school since age 14 as part of their educational program. It may be possible to transfer some of these skills to a community/business setting in your neighborhood. Work with your young adult child and your GCMS team to identify possibilities to pursue over the next few years. 


Your adult child will need to transition from their pediatrician to an Adult Health Care provider at age 21. CHOP, St. Christopher’s, and DuPont all have excellent staff and programs to help you manage this transition. 

Ask your MDs for referrals, ask other parents, etc. You will need to ensure that any new doctors are in-network with your insurance provider or Medicaid. Consider starting these conversations early so that the new providers are ready when your adult child turns 21!

For more information call or visit:



St. Christopher’s Hospital: Contact The Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, by calling (215) 427-8363 and scheduling an appointment to meet with one of their team. 

Volunteer at CADES

Please fill in your info and we will be in touch with you shortly.