Students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have specific difficulties which impact on the transition between primary and post-primary school (Steady and Roberts, 2013). As an increasing number of students with ASD are now accessing mainstream education due to Irish Government policy on inclusion (NCSE, 2013), this has led to increased challenges for schools in providing appropriate support for students with ASD during the transition process. The purpose of this research was to investigate best practice in relation to the planning, process and strategies that support the transition of students with ASD from primary to post-primary school. A purposive sample was chosen for the research. A questionnaire survey was sent to graduates of the Post Graduate Certificate/Diploma in SEN (ASD) from St. Angelas College, Sligo, Ireland who were working in primary and post-primary schools. This sample of participants was identified as having experience and qualifications in the field. Key findings included: strong oral communication between schools, the presence of transition programmes in many post-primary schools, the use of a wide variety of generic and ASD specific strategies in place in both primary and post-primary schools and a large number of personnel involved in the transition process. Analysis of findings and current literature enabled the researchers to propose a framework that the Department of Education and Skills, support agencies and schools may use to examine practice in order to enhance the transition programmes based on students needs, the profile of the school and its community.
Evelyn Deacy, St. Angela's College, Ireland
Fiona Jennings, St. Angela's College, Ireland
Ailbhe O Halloran,St. Angela's College, Ireland
Stream: Special education
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