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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

All transitions for students on the autism spectrum should be carefully planned and include the following:

  • identifying a key education professional early in the transition process to guide children and young people and their family/whānau, and provide an ongoing point of contact
  • using person-centred planning through involving children and young people in decisions about the transition, respecting their views, and individualising their plans
  • having team transition planning meeting/s, preferably beginning 6-12 months prior to transition, involving family/whānau, key staff from both sending and receiving schools, and other supporting team members
  • developing a student profile in collaboration with the child/young person and their family/whānau, to inform current and future school teams. The profile should include the child/young person’s strengths, interests, needs, behaviours, preferences, and successful strategies
  • having transition visits for the child/young person to their new school environment to provide familiarisation, establish relationships, and alleviate anxiety
  • using visual supports appropriate to individual needs, for example:
    • a map of the new school
    • photographs, pictures and social stories incorporated into an induction booklet
    • visual schedules, including calendars, timetables, diaries and planners that present the routines of each day
  • providing social supports and environmental adaptations such as a safe person, peer buddy, adult mentors, and a safe space
  • having regular, constructive, culturally appropriate and respectful communication between teachers and family/whānau
  • dharing support strategies across school and home environments.

Many strategies recommended in Recommendation 3.4.5 are applicable to within-school transitions (eg, between year levels and other transitions).