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Transition and Change

For a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) changes to activities or in their environment can represent a challenge. There are several reasons for this. A preference for routine and restricted, repetitive behaviour is a key feature of ASD, making change something that can seem confronting. Students with ASD often have very different ways of organising their thoughts and behaviour, which can add complexity to "small" changes and transitions. Changes and transitions are usually signalled by teachers using verbal communication, which can be problematic for students with ASD, who have difficulty with social communication.

When these factors are taken together, it is not surpising that something as "simple" as being asked to move from one desk to another, or switching between activity-stations may present a challenge for the student with ASD.

Because students with ASD encounter difficulty with expressing themselves through language, they may communicate their confusion, frustration or anxiety through their behaviour. This section of the website examines the social and behavioural aspects of transition. For more information, see the drop-down menu above. Another section of this website examines the effect of transition on engagement with learning. For more information about transition in relation to teaching and learning, click here.