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The transition from primary to secondary school is a stressful period for autistic individuals. However, less isknown about parental experiences of the school transition, and its impact on the family. This study exploredmothers’perspectives on the psychological impact of the transition to secondary school for their autistic chil-dren and their families. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, semi-structured interviews were ana-lysed to explore the experiences of eight mothers of autistic children at the end of their child’s first year insecondary school. The analysis revealed two superordinate themes: lack of available support and detrimentalpsychological impact on the family. Mothers reported the negative impact the transition had on themselves,their child, and the wider family. The importance of pre- and ongoing transition support was highlighted toreduce the concerns of children and their parents throughout the transition process. The findings highlightedthe need for autism-specific individualized guidance, as well as considering the potential for transition issuesto impact on siblings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Early online date6 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2023


  • autism
  • education
  • mothers
  • psychological distress
  • transition


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