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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Transition from preschool to kindergarten : a perspective for children with autism spectrum disorder Fleming, Erin Elizabeth Christina


Entry into kindergarten is a critical developmental time for children and research consistently demonstrates the need for specific practices to facilitate this transition (Pianta, 2007; Schulting, Malone, & Kenneth, 2005). Although successful transition into kindergarten is a consideration for students in general education, students with special education needs, such as students with autism spectrum disorder, may require additional transition planning (Beamish, Bryer, & Klieve, 2014; Forest, Horner, Lewis-Palmer, & Todd, 2004; Villeneuve et al., 2013). More empirical evidence is needed to draw conclusions about the types of transition practices that best facilitate this developmental period for children with autism spectrum disorder. The purpose of the current study was to add to this literature base by providing empirical evidence of kindergarten transition practices for children with autism spectrum disorder. Data were collected from a sample of 24 parents on concerns about child behaviour, implementation of transition practices, perceived importance of transition practices, and barriers to implementing transition practices. Descriptive statistics were utilized to determine the mean level of child behaviour concerns, transition practices, and barriers to implementation. Dependent t-tests were performed to evaluate differences between the implementation and perceived importance of transition practices. Results from the survey indicated that parents have a number of behavioural concerns as their child enters kindergarten. Levels of implementation and perceived importance of kindergarten transition activities varied, but parents rated significantly higher levels of perceived importance compared to implementation for 26 of the 28 transition activities. Results are discussed with regard to previous research, study limitations and strengths, and implications for future practice and research.

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