JCPSLP November 2017

References Autism Spectrum Australia. (2013). A guide to transition to school . Sydney, NSW: Author. Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology , 3 , 77–101. Chadwick, D., & Kemp, C. (2000). Essential skills for survival in a mainstream kindergarten classroom. Special Education Perspectives , 9 (2), 27–41. Chiovitti, R. F., & Piran, N. (2003). Methodological issues in nursing research: Rigour and grounded theory research. Journal of Advanced Nursing , 44 (4), 427–435. Early Childhood Intervention Australia. (n.d.). Retrieved from transition-to-school Early, D., Pianta, R. C., Taylor, L. C., & Cox, M. J. (2001). Transition practices: Findings from a national survey of kindergarten teachers. Early Childhood Education Journal , 28 , 199–206. Forest, E. J., Horner, R. H., Lewis-Palmer, T., & Todd, A. (2004). Transitions for young children with autism from preschool to kindergarten. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions , 6 , 103–112. Janus, M., Lefort, J., Cameron, R., & Kopechanski, L. (2007). Starting kindergarten: Transition issues for children with special needs. Canadian Journal of Education , 30 , 628–648. La Paro, K., Kraft-Sayre, M., & Pianta, R. (2003). Preschool to kindergarten transition activities: Involvement and satisfaction of families and teachers. Journal of Research in Childhood Education , 17 , 147–158. Marsh, A. & Eapen, V. (2017) Transition to School from Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres, final report Part 1 and Part 2. Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism, Brisbane, Queensland. Retrieved from Transition%20to%20school%20from%20ASELCCs%20 %20Executive%20summary.pdf McIntyre, L., Blacher, J., & Baker, B. (2006). The transition to school: Adaptation in young children with and without intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research , 50 , 349–361. Osborne, L., McHugh, L., Saunders, J., & Reed, P. (2008). A possible contra-indication for early diagnosis of autistic spectrum conditions: Impact on parenting stress. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders , 2 , 707–715. Rule, S., Fiechtl, B., & Innocenti, M. (1990). Preparation for transition to mainstreamed post-preschool environments: Development of a survival skills curriculum. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education , 9 , 78–90. Seligman, M., & Darling, R. B. (2007). Ordinary families, special children . New York: The Guildford Press. Victoria State Government. (n.d.). About transition to school . Retrieved from childhood/parents/transition/Pages/transition.aspx#link29 David Trembath is a senior lecturer and NHMRC ECR Fellow at the Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Australia. Elizabeth Starr is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor, Canada.

supporting children with special needs to be at the centre of transition efforts; (b) the value in connecting parents with one another in order to establish support networks; and (c) the importance of helping parents to understand the range of educational options available to their child and to feel confident in advocating for their preferences. Yet despite the reported benefits of the program, some parents continued to feel anxious regarding their child’s transition from the PrEPIC program to the first year of schooling. To this end, it is important to contextualise the transition period within the broader journey that parents travel in raising children with social-communication and learning disabilities. For speech pathologists and other professionals seeking to support children and parents, the results suggest the importance of establishing longer term working relationships that ensure that support is available as and when it is needed. Presumably, the level and nature of support will fluctuate over time, but the fact that it remains available may act as a stabilising force at a time of substantial uncertainty as children and parents make the transition. Limitations In considering the findings and implications for practice, it is important to note several limitations to the study. First, consideration should be given to the fact that we examined a pilot program in one educational setting. Both sample size and resource constraints limit the generalisation of both the findings and program to other settings. Second, the fact that formal measures of the children’s skills were not available for inclusion in the study means that only broad descriptions of changes, based on parent report, are included and no attempt to differentially link these outcomes to children with different diagnoses is made. Furthermore, our focus in this study was on exploring parents’ views and experiences of the program, rather than a formal evaluation of the outcomes. Accordingly, when considering the findings, it is important to note that we have reported outcomes, as perceived by parents, along with the factors that they felt contribute to the perceived success of the program. There is clearly a need for future research to evaluate the outcomes of similar attempts to support children and parents during the transition to school in a holistic manner, including the use of experimental research designs. Conclusion The results of this study suggest that timely and comprehensive support can lead to positive outcomes for children and their parents during the transition to school. For speech pathologists, other allied health professionals, and educators working to support children and families, the findings point to the likely value of taking an individualised approach to each family, encouraging open and effective communication between parents and teachers, and connecting parents to support one another. Furthermore, the findings of this study appear to highlight the importance of speech pathologist and other professionals taking a long-term approach to supporting parents on their journey raising children with social-communication and learning difficulties that includes the greater span of time prior to, during, and following the children’s transition to school. Acknowledgement We would like to thank the parents and teachers who participated in this study and acknowledge the support of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Correspondence to: David Trembath Menzies Health Institute Queensland Griffith University email: phone: +61 7 5678 0103


JCPSLP Volume 19, Number 3 2017

Made with FlippingBook HTML5