Transitions happen at many stages of a child’s educational life. There is that first transition into education (daycare, playgroup, kindergarten, home-based care) and then into school and within school (primary, intermediate and secondary) and then that transition out into tertiary education (university, polytech) or the workforce or supported living/day programmes.
From the perspective of working with children with disabilities, these transitions are to be treated as signficant changes in the child and families life.
But who does them?
My experience is that the school that I work for (as an itinerant teacher) is far more involved in this process than other providers simply because of our family-centred approach. We do it by default. We have strong relationships with students and families so it makes sense that we support them on their journey.
So what makes a good transition?
- Time. Being prepared months in advance.
- Knowing the student/child. Planning the transition based on their needs.
- Communication. Everyone knowing the plan.
- Flexibility. Things change, people change. It’s OK.
And possibly the most important thing is if things don’t go to plan; reassuring the family that everything is going to be OK. Think of a duck on a pond. Relaxed and calm on top and feet going full speed underneath to stay afloat!!