Starting Middle School

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Starting middle school is stressful for any student, but the process can be even more challenging for a student on the autism spectrum (ASD) and for his or her parents. Many things will be different. The school will probably be larger, the campus more confusing, and the enrollment may be several times greater than in elementary school. The student likely will not know his or her new teachers and, in turn, the teachers might not know anything about the student. The aide, if one is needed and provided, may be a stranger. Many of the students will not know their classmate with ASD.

There also are new opportunities that were not available in elementary school. Careful planning can make the transition to middle school a success. Planning for the transition process ideally will begin several months before the actual transition occurs.

Autism Source outlines a process that others have used in developing a successful transition plan in their Going to Middle School Living with Autism guide.