The experience of parents with children with autism in early childhood transitions
(2013) The experience of parents with children with autism in early childhood transitions, no. 50.
Over the past decade, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has been the subject of considerable public health concern with the substantial increase in its prevalence globally. In Singapore, 400 new cases are diagnosed annually, putting ASD at the lead of disease burden in children between 0-14 years. When children with ASD reach school-going age, educational placement is often a priority as initial academic and social success at school can affect long-term adjustment, achievement, and success. Despite so, performance limitations can interfere with full participation in school and challenges are often heightened by transitions processes that are particularly stressful for children with ASD. Transitions in early education occur when a child moves from preschool to kindergarten, from grade to grade, and to primary schools. Effective transition promotes adjustments and has the potential to positively influence children's social and academic success at school. For children with ASD however, social and communication deficits and difficulties in generalising skills across settings can make transitioning into new environments a challenge. Successful transitions across environmental and social contexts are important life experiences that provide children with the necessary skills for adulthood. Thoughtful planning by early childhood personnel can support the child's successful integration into the new environment. While the importance of occupational therapy services for children with ASD has been supported, little has been documented about the role of occupational therapists in supporting the child, family and school during transition, particularly in the Singaporean context. For this reason, this paper will investigate occupational therapy transition practices for children with ASD.