Despite the availability of program principles, quality indicator checklists, and online resources to support the transition of students with disabilities within and across educational settings, parents continue to report that schools do not effectively implement strategies to support the inclusion of new students on the autism spectrum (Lilley, 2014). Although some autism-specific equivalent versions exist to inform and guide practice in schools, anecdotal evidence indicates that often these materials are not used after some initial attempts. There are resources available to support the transition into school and between primary and high school, so this project will focus on the next stages of education to make sure students on the autism spectrum continue to be supported in mainstream school settings.
What will the research do?
This project will focus on the feasibility and sustainability of teaching practices to support students on the autism spectrum to make successful transitions between Prep and Year 1. After identifying potential models of practice and trialling them with a small group of teachers, we will finalise the models of practice to be trialled in the participating schools. In order to evaluate how we might best support teachers, a qualified multi-disciplinary team from Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) and from Autism Queensland (AQ) will provide mentoring either face-to-face, online, or by providing relevant information to teachers.
What do we hope to find out?
- Does providing teachers with models of practice to support transition increase the implementation of evidence-supported practices in the mainstream classroom?
- Does the type of support teachers’ receive impact on their use of models of practice in the classroom?
- Do teachers use the transition models of practice in a reliable and sustainable way?
How can you get involved?
We will work with 12 schools across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, in metropolitan, regional and rural settings to ensure we involve as wide a range of students and teachers as possible.
If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact:
Dr Susan Bruck, firstname.lastname@example.org