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Adulting is especially difficult for youth with special health care needs

There are approximately 4.3 million adolescents with special health care needs in the United States, accounting for nearly one in five adolescents in our country. Special health care needs range from mental health problems to sickle cell disease to cerebral palsy. Although the experiences of these adolescents differ, they often share a need for additional support services – like help managing a range of medical appointments or access to special therapies – to assist them in achieving their highest potential in adulthood.

During a one-on-one visit with the YCHW, Jessica explained how making phone calls causes her anxiety, expressed confusion about deciding between the insurance plans offered at her job, and indicated that her goal is to return to college. Together, Jessica and the YCHW identified two short-term goals and one long-term goal. The first short-term goal was to practice making polite and effective phone calls to providers and pharmacies using a script from the YCHW.

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