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Most research on transitioning to high school has focused on Autistic students moving between mainstream environments. There is a gap in our understanding of the experiences of Autistic students transitioning from autism-specific schools to mainstream environments. Better research in this area can lead to more targeted transition planning and support.

In this research study, we will explore the experiences and support requirements of Autistic students and their parents in the year following their transition from an autism-specific school to another school environment in Australia.

What are the experiences and support needs of Autistic students and their parents moving from Aspect primary schools to mainstream or other special education schools?

The research

Parents/caregivers of Autistic students who are leaving Aspect schools in Year 6 to transition to another secondary educational environment will be interviewed 6-9 months following their transition.

Making a difference

This study will provide quality-improvement data to Aspect schools to understand how their Year 6 transition planning can be enhanced. This research has the potential to inform transition planning interventions and support service providers beyond Aspect to better understand the needs of Autistic individuals and their families, particularly for students transitioning from highly supported settings to mainstream environments. This may ultimately contribute to improved school outcomes and quality of life for Autistic people.

Research team

Dr Abbey Love, Aspect Research Centre for Autism Practice (ARCAP)

Dr Vicki Gibbs, ARCAP

Dr Ru Ying Cai, ARCAP

Dr Chris Edwards, ARCAP