Transition to Kindergarten for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Focus Group Study with Ethnically Diverse Parents, Teachers, and Early Intervention Service Providers
Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
autism spectrum disorders, multicultural issues, parent, special education, transition
Despite the stated importance of a successful kindergarten transition (TTK) for future school success, no research has addressed this transition for culturally/ethnically diverse families having children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). To address this gap, six focus groups (three with ethnically diverse parents, one with kindergarten teachers, and one each with early childhood resource teachers and early intervention providers) were conducted to elicit the experiences of these stakeholders regarding TTK for children with ASD generally, and the TTK experience for ethnically diverse families specifically. Four major themes relating to TTK emerged from the focus groups: Relationship Building, Communication, Knowledge, and Support. While these themes were relevant for all groups, parents who were relatively recent immigrants and for whom English was not a first language identified unique difficulties. Results are discussed within the context of Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory. Recommendations to improve the experience for ethnically diverse families are explored.
Starr, Elizabeth M.; Martini, Tanya S.; and Kuo, Ben C.H.. (2016). Transition to Kindergarten for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Focus Group Study with Ethnically Diverse Parents, Teachers, and Early Intervention Service Providers. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 31 (2), 115-128.