Transition Planning for Children with Autism

Making the transition to a new year group can need very careful preparation especially for children on the autistic spectrum. Karen Horner, a Specialist Autistic Practitioner in a Nurture Unit says that Story Massage is now a valuable part of the school’s transition plan. Karen, who is a Story Massage Best Practice Winner, shares her ideas for using Story Massage as part of transition planning for children with autism. 

Preparing for Change

Karen, who is fully trained in Story Massage, has written a massage story for a group of children from year 2, 3 and 4, most of whom have autism. Karen has kindly agreed to share her story to help others who are supporting children through transition from one year to another.

“We do the massage in the nurture room at our school,” says Karen, “It is quiet and we have lights and music whilst we are doing it. The children really enjoy Story Massage and, so far, the transition has gone well. The combination of words and positive touch is a gentle and  effective way of sharing a social story to help prepare children for any kind of change, such as transition.”

Moving to a New Year Group

We have nearly finished year 4. (The Calm)

All our friends are happy. (The Squeeze)

We have had lots of fun with our teacher. (The Circle)

We have played with our friends. (The Bounce)

We have learned lots of interesting things. (The Sideways Wave)

We have been on school trips. (The Walk)

And we have done exciting things in class.   (The Sprinkle)

Now it’s time to move to a new class. (The Walk)

We will have a new teacher. (The Fan)

We will have a new classroom. (The Fan)

We will learn lots of new things. (The Sideways Wave)

Our teacher will help us. (The Squeeze)

We will play with our friends. (The Bounce)

We will enjoy our new class. (The Calm)

More about the Story Massage Programme

The Story Massage Programme combines the fun and reassurance of story with the benefits of positive, respectful touch. It is enjoyed by all ages and abilities. Ten simple massage strokes form the basis of the programme. These strokes have a name, such as The Circle or The Sprinkle, and an easy to recognise symbol making it accessible for all.

The online training is ideal for therapists, teachers, SEN staff, support staff, Early Years practitioners, parents, those working with people with additional needs, Baby Massage Instructors, Relax Kids Coaches… everyone with an interest in sharing sensory stories and positive touch activities with children and adults. All the information is here: Story Massage Online Training.


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