How Do Children on the Autism Spectrum Experience Transitions in Primary School? (Student project)

Ellie White
Blackfield Primary School

Ellie White.

BSc Psychology.

In recent years research has begun to focus on how children with autism experience transitions, such as between classes and year groups. Transitions such as these are an important part of primary school, yet there is an overwhelming gap in research on transitions in this time period. That is, the majority of research in this area focuses on the major transitions of children from primary to secondary school, or from secondary school to post-school settings. It is important to address this gap in research as it is becoming increasingly clearer that experiences of schooling in the younger, formative years can have a great impact on experiences later in school life.

The aim of this research is to do a case study of Blackfield Primary School, to understand the practices that help students with autism transition through the school. This study will explore how children and young people with autism can be supported in sharing their views and experiences to find out what has helped them in their transitions and what has hindered them, in the hope that we will be able to discover what can be done better. In order to gather detailed data, information will be collected from multiple sources including the children themselves, teachers, and parents.

The objective is to gather new knowledge from the children about what helps and doesn’t help with their transitions through school, in order to provide education practitioners with a better understanding of how to support a child with autism through these experiences. You can read in detail about the project’s findings here.