Tackling Transitions
Aline-Wendy Dunlop
Autism Network Scotland Learning Event
June 11th 2013
Transitions are important
• Time of accelerated change
• Potential for learning
• Can affect individuals in the longer
• Transitions occur throughout life
Two perspectives
Transitions Position
Agenda for Change
document – Improving
Transitions for Young People
with Additional Support Need
 Opportunities
 Personalisation
 Aspirations
 Independence
 Expectations
 Choice
 Entitlement
 Control
Transitions across the day
Dealing with change
Autism Network Scotland Transitions Survey
 A survey consulting individuals with ASD, parents/carers and family
members as well as practitioners on matters related to transitions for
people on the spectrum.
 The survey was completed by 380 respondents out of whom 10%
were people on the spectrum, 46% were parents/carers, 33% were
practitioners working in the field of autism, 2% were family members
and 10% were respondents from neither of the above categories.
 Transitions of most interest to respondents were  31% : home to school/work transition,
 30% : child to adult services transition,
 27% : transitions from primary school to secondary school and secondary
school to further/higher education
 24% stated that the transition from education to employment was
Main survey topics
 Points of transition
 Transition planning
 What’s working well
 What’s not working well
 Access to services and information
 Areas of interest
 Autism Network Scotland events - virtual, face-to-face
 Disseminating information
A systems approach
Personal experience
 The most difficult time of transition for me was going from
school to work. It wasn’t really the workplace that I found
difficult, but the continuing difficulties with friendships and
the expectations of me in these friendships. This was often
due to my lack of assertiveness skills, self belief and lack
of compromise on the part of my friends. I had a few
friends between those from school and people from
college, but all of them seemed to enjoy being real
‘party animals’ and I didn’t realise there were other
people my age out there who weren’t like this. In my
transition years I had come to believe that there was
something very wrong with me.…….
Linking knowledge of autism to transitions
It is likely that autism will present the
individual with some challenges in
these areas
This may lead to high levels of
anxiety and lead to unexpected
 Fear
 Interpreting the thoughts,
feelings and expectations
of new people
 Understanding or
establishing new routines
 Planning and organisation
 Inappropriate reactions due to
lack of social understanding and
of what behaviour is expected
 Attempts to keep the
environment the same or
negative responses to the
transition interfering with existing
 Non compliance
 Sensory processing
 Behaviour that others find
Linking knowledge of autism to transitions
Type of transition
From one setting to another
Where they have to be
Different areas in the setting, new places
Who might be there
Home to school, work, day centre, leisure
What they will/should be doing
Different or new personnel
What behaviour is expected
Home issues (new house, family member,
loss, holidays)
How much they have to do
How they will know they are finished
What they will be doing next
Through a life stage
(Section 2.9; Scottish Autism Toolbox, 2009)
(Division TEACCH, 2006)
What is your experience of transitions?
You cannot run my race of life, only I can
Give me hope and I will pursue
Give me tools and I will build
Give me equality and fairness and I will persevere
What do you currently aim to do?
Opportunity or threat?
Services being ready and adjusting
to individuals
Narrowing Gaps
Bridging gaps
Building transitions capacity
professionally and institutionally
Smoothing transitions
Increasing continuity and coherence of
Equip children, young people and
adults to cope with change
Making a good start
Transitions are a way of life and lifelong

Tackling Transitions - Autism Network Scotland