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The challenges of transitioning to middle school for special needs students

There are many transitions a child experiences during the course of their education. One of the bigger ones is the move from elementary school to middle school. For any student, this transition can have its difficulties. As a recent article notes, for students with special needs, such as students with ADHD or autism, there can be some particularly significant challenges related to making this transition.

Among these challenges are those related to adjusting to the many differences between life at middle school and life at elementary school. There are a great many things a special needs student may need to adjust to when transitioning to middle school, including:

  • A larger school campus.
  • Being in an environment with more teachers and students.
  • Having many independent classes a day.
  • New expectations from their teachers.
  • New expectations from their fellow students.

Many skills can be important for a special needs student when it comes to trying to adjust to this new environment and these new expectations. These include socialization, self-advocacy, organization and the ability to follow new routines.

Among the things a parent of a special needs child may be concerned about as their child approaches the transition to middle school is whether their child will have the skills and support needed to handle this transition successfully. Careful planning and preparation for this transition can help parents with addressing such concerns. Such preparations can involve working closely with a child’s school to help try to ensure needed supports are in place for their child when it comes to the move to middle school.

Given how impactful how a child’s transition to middle school ends up going can be, a parent can be very frustrated when they encounter roadblocks in their efforts to get their child’s school to provide certain support or services when it comes to this transition. When a parent is facing this situation, they may want a skilled education lawyer’s help with trying to overcome these roadblocks.

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