Lifespan Transition Clinic

Health Care Transition

Health care transition is the process of moving from a pediatric system of health care to an adult system of health care. It is often a complex and confusing process for families, especially for those who experience disability. Some areas of focus:

  • Finding a primary care doctor and specialists who work with adults
  • Maintaining or updating health insurance
  • Learning self-management skills (i.e. making appointments or ordering medication)
  • Making medical decisions independently or with support
  • Addressing mental health concerns
  • Understanding sexual health and relationships

Maintaining quality health care services is an important part of participation in everyday life activities. Healthy adults participate in:

  • Vocation/jobs/volunteer work
  • Secondary education (college, community college, or technical school)
  • Leisure activities (i.e. community groups, sports)
  • Exercise 
  • Religious or spiritual activities

Lifespan Transition Clinic

The UCEDD helps support the Lifespan Transition Clinic at the Institute on Development & Disability. This clinic is designed for transition-aged youth age 14-21. We work with patients who experience many different disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disability, and Neurocognitive disabilities related to cancer treatments. We also work with youth who experience mental health disorders. 

This clinic follows a model of self-determination. The youth decides what is important to them and makes decisions about their physical health & wellness, mental health and wellness, community participation, and supported-decision making for their future. During a clinic visit, the youth and their caregiver are asked questions related to these four areas and get to choose what is most important to them right now. We help the family create a Transition Action Plan that provides resources and supports to help meet their goals.

Transition action plan and goals visual with four sections for physical and mental wellness, as well as community participation and supported decision making

This clinic involves a mental health assessment with social work and an occupational performance evaluation with occupational therapy. We offer virtual appointments via telehealth and in person. The appointment usually takes 90 minutes and we help you determine your or your youth’s strengths and goals for moving towards adulthood. AS part of your appointment, we will also work with you to develop a plan to reach your transition goals. This might include coming back for follow-up appointments, or referral to other services in your community.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists provide evaluations that determine what daily activities are most important to you right now and in the future. We help identify supports and barriers to meeting your daily occupations. This could include self-care activities, managing your home and medical care, participating in school or a job, community activities and leisure.

Social work

Social workers provide comprehensive mental health assessments, helping you identify supports for your emotional health. Mental health plays a very important role in transition to adulthood. Our social work team can help provide resources to support your goals for transition.

  • “Finding an adult MD”
  • “Talking to my doctor about healthcare”
  • “Learning how to manage my money”
  • “Finding a job”
  • “Learning about Supported-Decision making”
  • “Understanding how to keep myself safe”


Current and recent projects

Retrospective chart review:

This retrospective chart review of the Lifespan Transition Clinic project involves a review of the families who have attended visits in our clinic. We are not collecting identifying information (no name, date or birth, or location). We are analyzing information from the visits to determine any trends that can inform our future visits in this clinic.

WITH Foundation grant consulting:

The Lifespan Transition Clinic plans to test the Patient Decision Aids for Supported-Decision making created by the UCEDD and Community Vision as part of the WITH Foundation Grant: “Speak My Language! Using Visual Symbols for Supported Decision Making by People Who Use AAC.” Patients and families in the clinic will provide feedback on use, effectiveness, and satisfaction of the symbols. 

Utilization of Mental Health Services in the Lifespan Transition Clinic - A Family Perspective:

Our LEND Trainee in Social Work, completed interviews with youth and family who attended a clinic visit. This project focuses on access to mental health care services for transition-aged youth. 


A referral should come from your primary care doctor or other specialty care professional (needs to be an MD, NP, PA, or licensed psychologist).

Referral form

Please fax referral to:
Please call 503-494-8315


Family feedback

Parent felt that “the clinic was helpful to their son because it provided their son an outside perspective on the topic of transition.” His parents “had a hard time prior to the clinic of engaging their son to be motivated to engage in transition-related tasks, but this clinic gave their son some perspective to begin.”

Parent stated that "the resources were very helpful, especially the parent support group.” She felt that the clinic was “very helpful and answered all her questions, felt supported, and heard.”