Date
21 April 2019

Manage successful transitions

Key transitions come with increased expectations. Individuals with FASD often experience a mismatch between aspects of their developmental age and chronological age. Put supports in place.

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Communicate with parents

Communicate with parents

Communicate regularly with the student’s family.

Work together to prepare the student for changes in routines, moving to new classes, and moving out of school.

Transitions between classes

Transitions between classes

Difficulties with transitions can be related to confusion about what's next, and maintaining focus and attention during the transition.

  • Remind the student of what is going to happen at the end of each class.
  • Give a verbal reminder 5 minutes before the class will end.
  • Set a timer for a few minutes before the bell to prepare the student for a transition. This might be set on their phone, watch, or a physical timer.
  • Give clear, consistent instructions about what to do when the timer rings.
  • With the student, create a list of simple steps detailing how to move on to the next class. Place this on their desk and review it with the student in each class, every day, particularly at the beginning of the year.

This short video demonstrates the strategy in action – Module 5: Creating positive learning environments, Unit 6: Topic 9: Transition guides.

Transition to a new school

Transition to a new school

Help the student prepare for change. Create repeated opportunities for preparation. Identify predicatable routines.

  • Arrange for the student to visit the school and future classroom(s) on several occasions prior to the first day.
  • Show photos or videos of the school.
  • Prepare a video, Powerpoint, or scrapbook about the school for the student to revisit frequently over the summer holidays.
  • Discuss the student’s concerns regarding the move.
  • Use social stories to 'practise' a typical day at the new school.
  • Arrange for the student to meet one or two key staff members who will be involved with them.
  • Visit locations in the school that may be new or different, such as the gymnasium or the bus stop.
  • Arrange a buddy (preferably a person the student knows well) to help the student negotiate his or her way around the school.
  • Discuss the routines of a secondary school – moving between classrooms, using the library, storing possessions in lockers.

Transition out of school

Transition out of school

Supporting students with FASD to transition enhances opportunities for success, safety, and wellbeing.

  • Start planning early – in the final three or four years of school, not the last three or four months.
  • Plan collaboratively with the student, their parents or caregivers and relevant school staff, such as their form teacher, dean, or the SENCO, for ongoing and consistent support and planning.
  • Identify large goals, such as what the student wants to do when they leave school.
  • Identify small goals for reaching the big goal – provide a visual of the small steps, which can be referred to and where achievements can be recorded.
  • Revisit the steps for achieving small goals frequently with the student.
  • Celebrate achieving small goals.

The Preparing students to leave school guide provides targeted strategies, suggestions, and resources to support successful transitions.

Prepare for success

Prepare for success

Useful resources

Useful resources

Next steps

Return to the guide “Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and learning”

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