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Houston Matters

Challenges of Transitioning into Adulthood with Chronic Illness Or Disability

We learn about the challenges faced by children who suffer from chronic illnesses or disabilities when it comes time to transition into adulthood.



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A large percentage — about 90 percent — of children who suffer from chronic illnesses or disabilities will survive into adulthood, but how do those newly mature adults manage their care on their own?

Evidence shows that without a successful transition, morbidity and mortality rates for these patients increase.

That’s a problem Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have spent 19 years discussing at the annual Chronic Illness and Disability Conference.

How do children with chronic conditions successfully make the transition? What are the current obstacles? And what has improved in the past few years?

In the audio above, we talk with pediatrician and conference organizer Dr. Albert Hergenroeder as well as Jacqueline Benavides, a patient who had to make the transition herself a few years ago.

Patient Jacqueline Benavides and Dr. Albert Hergenroeder.