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The term of transitions

We talk about the difficulties of transitions for autistic children a lot. Whilst it might appear to be something that we over mention, I don’t actually think that is possible. Transitions are everywhere and essential to understand if you want to support an autistic person of any age. 

For most of you with children who attend school, this week will have brought with it the challenge of supporting your child through the transition from holidays at home to school routine.

When I was a child, and also as an adult teaching in primary schools, this term was always the hardest because it had so many more unknowns and transitions than the other terms. This means that even if you have successfully navigated the transition between holiday mode and school mode, your child will still have many more transitions to go before they reach the end of the school term. 

Here are just a few of the additional transitions that your child might face during this term:

* Uniform change when the weather gets warmer. 

* May bank holiday, which means that after just a few weeks of getting into routine, there is an additional transition to master just a few weeks before the half term break. 

* Examinations/Tests - This term is often more assessment heavy than the other terms.  Not only for GCSE and ‘A’ Level students but also for those who have SATS or other end of year assessments. 

* News about next year - Most children will be having a new class or tutor group, and for some it will be about moving to a new school. Although the move will be happening in September, there are often trial days which happen in this term. 

* Sumer events - The summer term often contains events like sports days, outings and end of year concerts and events. All of these contain a great deal of transitions as well as unknowns which whilst are intended to be fun for students, sadly might cause a lot of stress and anxiety for autistic students. 

It is a good idea to look ahead at the school calendar and see if there are some events that you are able to help your child prepare for so that they feel more able to manage the numerous transitions that are expected of them this term.  

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