Kindergarten transition practices for students with autism spectrum disorder

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Title: Kindergarten transition practices for students with autism spectrum disorder
Author: McCumber, Cassandra
Abstract: The educational classification of Autism has increased significantly in recent years. Schools are now facing new requirements and expectations to provide appropriate services to meet the needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The kindergarten transition is the first major educational transition in a student's educational career. It is a particularly important transition for students with ASD because a successful kindergarten transition leads to better academic outcomes and better generalization of skills developed in the preschool setting (McIntyre et al., 2006). However, students with ASD begin with significant risk of an unsuccessful transition to kindergarten to due to qualitative impairments in social-communication and behavior. The use of recommended practices in kindergarten transition increases the chance of a successful transition for students with ASD. The current study aimed to identify the current use and perceived importance of best kindergarten transition practices for students with ASD, identify barriers of implementing kindergarten transition practices for students with ASD, identify predictors of use of transition practices for kindergarteners with ASD and identify differences on the reported use of transition practices between professional groups and educational settings. A reliable Transition Practices Scale was developed (α= .927) as used as the main measure for the study. It was found that current use of best transition practices is far from optimal despite the high degree of perceived importance. Predictors of the use of transition practices differed somewhat across professional subgroups and settings although regression analyses were limited by low statistical power. No significant differences in the reported use of best transition practices were found across professional subgroups and settings. Although more research is needed, the present study indicated that more professional training is needed for those working with children with ASD who are transitioning to kindergarten to help ensure positive outcomes for these students.
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Date: 2011-05-13

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