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Steven A. Greenburg, Education Law
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Kids with autism and the transition to elementary school

Transitioning to elementary school can have its difficulties for any young child. It can have added challenges, though, for kids with disabilities.

How these special challenges are addressed can impact how this transition ends up going for a child with special needs. It can also play a big role in how good of a position such children are in to have educational success in their elementary school years. How such a child’s elementary years go could have lifelong ramifications for them.

So, what special education services and support a special needs child receives when it comes to the challenges they are facing when starting elementary school can matter a lot. Parents of young children with disabilities can go to skilled education lawyers for help with working with their child’s school district to ensure that the issues particular to their child when it comes to the transition to elementary school are properly addressed.

An example of the special challenges that can come up for special needs kids when they are starting elementary school can be seen in a recent study. The study indicates that one such challenge that kids with autism spectrum disorder could face are difficulties with forming strong relationships with their teachers.

The subjects of the study were 200 kids between 4 and 7 in age who had autism. The bulk of these children fell under the category of having “high functioning autism.”

The study looked at the children’s transition to elementary school. It found that these students were less likely than their typically-developing counterparts to form positive relationships with their teachers in their early elementary years. According to a researcher with the study, the behavior and social skill issues autism can raise for a child are among the things that may pose special difficulties for such children when it comes to forming such relationships.

Challenges with forming good relationships with teachers could be quite impactful for a student, given the high value such relationships can have for children when it comes to their education. So, one hopes elementary schools here in California will work hard to help young students with autism overcome such challenges.

Source: ScienceDaily, “Large scale study highlights challenges faced by children with ASD in early school years,” Jan. 13, 2017

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