Minding Transitions

What is the impact of life transitions within the context of overall lifespan development and why are these events so disruptive at times? The traditional life cycle of human beings includes infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and aging, but passage through these straits of change are often downplayed or ignored by those with authority. While the circumstances of transitions vary wildly across the demographic spectrum, transition periods can be especially difficult for people with disabilities and for marginalized populations, who are forced by circumstances to confront stress and fear of the unknown in isolation while also coping with underfunded support networks, policy gaps and legislative listlessness.

With a focus on holistic research and program and policy planning, this topic area delves into how we are keeping pace with the growing needs of individuals across the lifespan. Covered in this area are singular adjustment issues that come with no warning often amid tragic circumstances. For example, what can someone who sustains traumatic brain injury do to cope with profound changes bound to dislodge normal function? A thirty-minute documentary sheds new light on this question by exploring the leavening impact of art used to re-engage a sense of self. Make sure to stay after the screening for a discussion of the film’s themes built around teens and young adults with TBI. 

Altogether, five provocative  sessions match difficult transitions with effective ways of responding. We learn from a new study how autism patients can best transition from pediatric to adult care within an integrated healthcare system. We check in with a qualitative report on how older parents support adult offspring with intellectual disability living either in the family home or in supported accommodations. In lieu of our ancestral rites of passage once marked with communal ceremonies, we are enhancing the power of community to facilitate the progress of individuals on otherwise rough roads across the lifespan. 

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For more information about this topic area, please contact the Conference Team at prcall@hawaii.edu. For general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at cccrocke@hawaii.edu, (808) 956-7539.

For registration questions please contact the registration desk at (808) 956-8816, fax (808) 956-4437 or email prreg@hawaii.edu.