How To Transition From Pediatric To Adult Health Care Providers

It is important for families to start the transition process from pediatric to adult health care providers well before the age of 18.  Our ASD children can have co-occurring medical concerns and as a parent, you want to find the best adult healthcare provider that fits your needs. One of the reasons to start this process early is that you as a parent can interview potential adult healthcare providers.  If you wait until your child is 18 or older, you will not be allowed to make medical decisions for your child unless you have made previous arrangements in regards to guardianship and/or supported decision-making.

Starting the Process

First, ask your current pediatric health care providers how long they keep their patients in their practice?  This will give you an idea of how long you have to complete this process.  Inquire if they provide any additional assistance for patients in this transition process.  Don’t forget to ask them about possible for recommendations for adult health care providers.  If this is not an option, reach out to your ASI Autism Ally at 1-800-609-8449 for assistance.

Ask Questions

Make the process easier for yourself.  Come up with the criteria that are important to you and your child in an adult health care provider.

  • Is your insurance accepted?
  • Age or gender preferences?
  • Hospital admitting privileges?
  • Is location important?
    • Is proximity to public transit a concern?
    • Closer to home or work more preferable?

Research Possible Providers

Once you have narrowed the options, it’s time to do some homework.  Research and ask questions about the health care provider you are considering.  Schedule an interview for your final candidates.    When you have made a final decision, many families desire to contact the new adult health care provider by letter.  Download sample transition letter. This letter gives the new adult health care provider information about your child and contact information for their previous pediatric health care provider.  We have provided a sample letter for your convenience.   Please note that the words in red may need to be edited to fit your particular situation.

If you have additional questions about health care transition, please reach out to your local ASI Autism Ally at 1-800-609-8449.


Thanks to Susan Crowell, Autism Society of Indiana Rural Outreach Ally, for her contribution to this article. If you have any questions, please contact her at or by calling 800-609-8449 x333.

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