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Practical strategies to support with transition

Practical strategies to support with transition

As you are aware children with Autism find it difficult to manage times of transition. Here are some suggestions that will help to reduce their anxiety levels and make the process much smoother.

Note: Transition should be individualised to the child


Personal Passports:

  • This is a document that can be created by parents and/or professionals with the involvement of the child where appropriate. 
  • A personal passport is a key part in a child’s transition.
  • A personal passport enables all key information about the child to be shared among all staff who come into contact with the child.
  • Existing personal passports can be easily updated so it includes all relevant information then handed out to relevant staff who will be working with the child.
  • The AOT are happy to support or advise with the creation of a personal passport.




Transition Visits:

  • The child may need extra visits to their new classroom or area in school. Visits could include meeting with new staff (if possible) in their own classroom or area that is familiar with the child. The child would benefit from being given the opportunity to speak to new staff in informal environments such as the playground.

Transitioning to a new school. 

  • The child may need some extra visits in place. This can include visits when the building is quiet (after school hours) this will need to be arranged between school and parents 
  • It is useful to make some trips to the new school during the summer holidays to get the children into a routine of the walking route or bus route. 
  • Make use of a calendar to count down the number of sleeps/days to begin school. 


Photo book:

  • It would be a good idea to make up a photo book for transition. This could include the new classroom, staff, routines and any changes such as toilets and different entrances and exits to school.
  • Lots of schools have websites with lots of photo's, video's and information that are useful for children to look at before moving.  
  • Due to safeguarding it is important that no other children's pictures or names are included in the photos.

Visual strategies and symbols:

  • If a child has been using visual strategies such as a visual timetable, reward systems or timers it is best practice to make sure all resources stay with the child and go to their new class. 


  • It would be useful to have a trial run of the school uniform and equipment that may be required as it can be very different to what they are used to. 
Transition Checklist





Personal Passport completed/ updated
Transition visits into new school/ class
Transition pack (photo book) of new school/ class/ staff
Opportunities to meet new teacher/teaching assistant/ learning support in a familiar environment

A Nursery/Primary passport Template

A Primary/Secondary Template