Transitions and Autism

Transitions may be about moving from:

Ability to manage transition is affected by differences in 4 key areas:

Flexible thinking: autistic children may have differences in the way they problem solve, make choices and plan, sequence and organise their thoughts. They may find it hard to predict what may happen in a new situation and this leads to feelings of anxiety. They may also find it very hard to start and stop activities due to intense single channelled focus on items of interest.

A good transition can make the difference between a successful, productive learning experience and not being able to reach full potential.

Supporting Transitions

Transitions Between Activities:

Providing structure and visual supports are vital to ensure predictability and

Useful resources include:

Transition from Early Years Setting to Primary School

Planning for the transition to primary school should begin no later than after the Easter holidays

Transition meetings to plan for the transition should include Parents, SENCO, Teacher, 1:1
support/keyworker, outside agencies involved– STARS, SLT, OT. 

At the transition meeting find out what happens during:

Share child specific information:

New staff to carry out observations of child and shadow current support staff. 

Observations should be in current setting at different times of the day and during different activities

Visits to New School

Most children with autism do not benefit from a long transition period.

The number of visits required will vary from child to child. Some children will benefit from visiting the school before the summer holidays and at different times of day. Others may respond better to a staggered start in the first week(s) of school. Occasionally, children cope best when there are no transition visits prior to starting school.

New staff to provide a ‘My New Class’ booklet:

Everything must be in place before the child arrives:

Transition from Class to Class

The process should begin as soon as possible in the summer term - as soon as next
year’s arrangements have been finalised. The pupil needs to be familiar with new room and staff and vice-versa:

Suggested Transition Process:

Transition to High School:

In Year 5:

In Year 6:

Useful Websites/Documents:

Transitions Guidence