For posts on bullying, visit The Learn to be Buddies Series Blog.
All images and posts written by and copyright to Amanda Clements (nee Gray) 2009-2012 unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Discussing the transition to school process with an Early Intervention Teacher

Recently I talked to Darren from the Firstchance Early Childhood Intervention Program: Transition To School group, a group which supports families of children going to school the following year. Here is our discussion.

Q: What do you do to help children and families prepare for school?

- Advise families of the schooling options.
- Support families with the application, transition and orientation process for their preferred school.
- Provide the school / DET with applicable reports for each child.
- Support families and school with support funding applications.
- Support families with exploring options for post-early intervention support through government and community based programs.
- Support children with developing skills they will most likely need for comfortable inclusion in a new educational setting - special emphasis is given to social skills, postural and fine motor skills, communication skills, emotional resilience, independence / self control and self help skills.

Q: What have you found to be the things parents find most difficult in the transition to school process?

- Confidence that their child will be ready for a new environment.
- Concern that they are moving from a closely supported environment to one they perceive to be less individually supportive.
- Concern that their child will not receive the individual support required to meet their specific learning needs.

Q: What things would you say children struggle with the most in the transition to school?

- Moving to an environment with more structure- such as rules and following other people’s agenda!
- Being part of a physically and socially larger environment.
- Having to be more independent.
- Longer hours and more days!

Q: What could a parent do at home to get their child ready for school?

- Speak positively about school.
- Provide opportunities for children to be independent in their decision making and problem solving - especially from a social perspective.
- Practise lots of sitting at a table, drawing, cutting with scissors, etc.
- Visit the school or drive past it, take photos and make a 'social story' as a book or Powerpoint presentation, practise getting dressed in their uniform (including shoes!).

Q: What would be a typical process you go through with a child/family in the transition to school?

- Co-ordinate and in-service information evening for families - attended by representatives from schools and the DET.
- Send all relevant reports and support application requests to DET.
- Meet with school staff to discuss child’s areas of need, support options, and facilitate discussion around parents’ questions or concerns.
- Provide support as needed by attending school orientations, making pictorial social stories

Q: What advice would you give parents as they think about the transition

- Get in early to explore your school options. Visit schools so you can get a feel for the environment. Talk to other parents who have children going to the school. Talk to parents in your child's preschool group - you all share the same concerns!
- Be prepared that it will take time to hear confirmation of your child's placement in a support class / special school.
- You know your child better than anyone; because of this, you make things happen. That is why things WILL work out. Be confident!


For more information about the Firstchance Early Intervention Service visit

If you want to find out about early intervention in your area, you can visit - there are "chapters" for each state who will be able to give you more information.



About This Blog

You are welcome to browse as you like... but please remember that everything here is copyrighted. To receive printable copies of articles that you can hand out to others, subscribe to the Learn to be Buddies newsletter at

Copyright Amanda Gray 2009-11

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP