Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 8, pp 3073–3088 | Cite as

Preparing Children with Autism for Transition to Mainstream School and Perspectives on Supporting Positive School Experiences

  • Tegan J. Larcombe
  • Annette V. JoostenEmail author
  • Reinie Cordier
  • Sharmila Vaz
Original Paper


School readiness is important to a positive start and success in school but children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are at risk of not being school-ready. This study aimed to explore parent and therapist perspectives on school readiness skills of children with ASD and factors impacting on a positive mainstream school experience. A mixed methods design was used. Key findings were that school readiness depends on child and school factors, with social skills the most important child factor. The child’s experience was largely reliant on teacher and education assistant attitudes and highlighted a need for further training and support. This study identified areas of focus for early intervention as well as school-aged intervention and the need for collaborative practice.


Autism Inclusion Primary school School readiness Social competence Social skills 



To the parents who participated in this study and to the therapists from the Autism Association of Western Australia for their participation in this study.

Author Contributions

TL was involved in conceiving the study, data collection and interpretation, drafting the initial manuscript and subsequent reviews. AJ, SV was involved in conceiving the study, data analysis and interpretation, drafting and reviewing the manuscript. RC was involved in conceiving the study, data analysis and interpretation, reviewing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

TL, AJ, RC and SV declares there are no conflicts of interest that could influence or bias this work.

Ethics Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech PathologyCurtin UniversityBentleyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Allied HealthAustralian Catholic UniversityFitzroyAustralia

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