When transitioning a child to Prep, a range of strategies are recommended to support children to become familiar and comfortable with the new environment, routines and people. The My New School Story provides children who are transitioning to prep with specific, individualised information about their new school. The story can introduce physical locations, important staff and routines within the day.
Children are more able to understand, remember and use information if it is presented in their preferred learning style. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have a visual and or kinaesthetic learning preference i.e., information they can see and are actively involved in doing, making and experiencing is more likely to be retained, processed and/or applied.
The use of visual information, such as a story containing photos, a PowerPoint, a movie or interactive book or video application, may all provide specific information to the child with ASD. The choice of how to use visual information in the My New School Story will depend on the best way for the individual child.
It is important to ensure the child is involved wherever possible in creating the My New School Story by:
A sample template 17K is provided as an example of the format and styling that may be used within a My New School Story. This document is an example only and will need to be adjusted to ensure it is suitable for the individual child's needs and their Prep environment. Modifications may include adjustments to:
This story can be compiled by parents, ECEC and/or Prep staff and may be a collaborative effort of the transition team.
The story should be used in combination with a range of other strategies to prepare the child for the start of school, as documented within the child's individual transition plan.
Ensuring the story is read with the child several times assists the child to become familiar with the information presented in the story. Suggestions include: