Psychological Functioning and Adaptation of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Transitioning from Early Intervention to School
Using the ecological framework proposed by , this paper-based dissertation investigates the transition from early intervention into school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the impact it has on their emotional and behavioural functioning. The findings from two studies are described and integrated; a qualitative study exploring the parental experience of going through the transition from early intervention into the school system with a child with ASD in Alberta and Ontario
... rta and Ontario (N=11) and a multiple case study exploring aspects of the transition from early intervention to school that underlie changes in children's emotional and behavioural functioning (N=5). Findings of the first study revealed six themes, including: 1) Parent anxiety; 2) Preparation; 3) School challenges; 4) Parent involvement; 5) Early intervention support; and 6) Benefits of transition. Findings from the second study yielded four themes, including: 1) Transition to school impacts emotional and behavioural functioning; 2) Starting school with challenges; 3) High parent involvement; and 4) Impact on family. The benefits, challenges, and key transition experiences are also detailed. The integration of findings from both studies highlight individual differences, anxiety and ASD, and the cycle of child and parent emotional challenges. Further, the ecological framework for transitions, as proposed by , is supported. Overall implications and recommendations are discussed.