AbstractThe transition to secondary school is important for all students. For students
with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who have difficulty with changes in
routine (WHO, 1992), it is especially important that the transition is carefully
managed. This report aims to contribute to the understanding of this process.
The first study involved a systematic investigation and critique of literature on
this transition with a specific focus on students with ASD. The second study
comprised the development, implementation and evaluation of a transition
programme for nine students with ASD. All were in their final year at
mainstream primary schools in a Scottish city. The final study followed up the
progress of eight of these students during their first year at secondary school.
The empirical studies utilised a range of process and outcomes measures,
including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and discussion activities.
There was a paucity of scholarly literature on the transition of students with
ASD indicating the need for further research. The programme received
positive student and parent evaluations and there was some evidence of
impact using outcome measures. Feelings of anxiety mixed with excitement
were associated with the transition. Students reported higher than normal
anxiety levels before and after transfer, although there was evidence of a
slight reduction over this period. Students and parents provided a positive
evaluation of the students’ social functioning in secondary school, in contrast
to the mixed perspective of secondary school staff. Findings are discussed
with reference to the literature. Limitations of the present research are
considered. Finally, implications for practice and possible areas for future
research are proposed.
|Date of Award||2008|
|Supervisor||Keith Topping (Supervisor)|
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Secondary School
- Social functioning