Beyond tick-box transitions? Experiences of autistic students moving from special to further education

Shepherd, Jacqui (2020) Beyond tick-box transitions? Experiences of autistic students moving from special to further education. International Journal of Inclusive Education. ISSN 1360-3116

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to SRO admin only until 23 September 2021.

Download (315kB)


This paper reports on a qualitative, longitudinal case study conducted in England that explored the transition experiences of autistic students with intellectual disabilities (ID) as they left special school to go to colleges of further education (FE). Sequential interviews with six young people, their parents/carers and educators were developed to address an important knowledge gap in relation to progression to post-16 education for differently abled learners. Transition is theorised through both the lens of the social model of disability and the three typologies of induction, development and becoming. Combining these enables a focus on flexible systems and adaptive environments as well as an openness to the variability of autistic students. While the research found evidence of transition planning, it also identified gaps in critical processes, limited understanding of autistic students’ capacity to manage change and normative expectations around independence. Parents reported a largely ‘tick-box’ approach to transition that was further reflected in a lack of preparation for social transition. The paper highlights responsibilities of institutions to make adaptations to transition processes in order to enable autistic students to better navigate change.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2020 07:10
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2020 07:15

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update