Based on what was said in the focus groups, the authors came up with various recommendations, including:
- Planning for the transition should begin early. A teacher should be informed as early as possible that a student with autism will be joining their Kindergarten class so that they can attend all relevant transition meetings for the student. It would be helpful for the teacher to be able to visit the child's early childhood program, observe the child, and talk with the early childhood program staff and the child's parents to get to know the child.
- Teachers should be provided with additional pre-service and in-service training on autism and effective teaching strategies for students with autism.
- A need for consistent transition-to-Kindergarten programs among all schools in a district. They recommend that school boards develop a consistent and comprehensive plan to help all students with autism transition to Kindergarten.
I know that many of these require a good amount of time, planning, and funding. I was trying to think of ways to help make some of these steps easier for school districts to put into place. I thought I would reach out to all of you lovely people who subscribe to our newsletter. Does your district have a comprehensive transition to Kindergarten plan? Would you be willing to share your plan with Positively Autism's readers to help other districts create their own plan? Do you have any forms or paperwork that you use that you are willing to share? If so, please let me know with a quick message on our contact form. Thank you so much!
"Transition to Kindergarten for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Focus Group Study with Ethnically Diverse Parents, Teachers, and Early Intervention Service Providers"
By Elizabeth M. Starr, Tanya S. Martini, and Ben C. H. Kuo
Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
2016, Volume 31, Issue 2, Pages 115-128