Best Practice

Welcome to year 7: Ideas to support transition for autistic students

The transition from year 6 to year 7 can be particularly challenging for pupils with autism. Dr Pooky Knightsmith offers tips, ideas, and advice for secondary school transition teams
Image: Adobe Stock

For autistic students, the transition from primary to secondary school can be particularly challenging due to new academic expectations, social dynamics, and sensory environments.

These changes can lead to heightened anxiety, stress, and difficulties in adjusting to the new setting. Secondary schools play a crucial role in supporting these students by focusing on key areas such as pre-transition planning, inclusive environments, staff training, clear communication, and social inclusion.

This article identifies critical focus areas for secondary schools during this transition period and provides practical strategies that promote an inclusive, supportive environment for autistic students.

By emphasising pre-transition planning, inclusive spaces, staff training, clear communication, and social inclusion, we can create a foundation of familiarity and security, ensuring a smoother transition and setting students up for success.

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