Gaining The Edge - transition to secondary school program

As children with additional needs and their families prepare for the transition between primary and secondary school, a helping hand is often welcome. 

Gateways Support Services Gaining The Edge program is designed to provide that helping hand at a time when concern, anxiety and even fear can diminish excitement about the milestone. 

‘Even though I had an older child already at high school, this program gave me a very good understanding of the challenges faced by kids on the autism spectrum and how to support them.’ – parent 

 Gaining The Edge is designed by our multi-disciplinary Youth Plus team, who bring specialist knowledge of and experience in working with adolescents. 

 This transition program is focused on providing support and information targeted at children who have additional needs and their parents. It aims to assist families during this big change, making the move to secondary school as stress free and successful as possible. 

‘It gives direction and confidence to the transition’ – parent 

‘The most important thing I took from the program was my own sense of calm and feeling of preparedness.’ – parent

Gateways Support Services Adolescent Occupational Therapist Jessie Hutchinson says the transition to secondary school for kids with additional needs can be especially challenging.  

 The big move to high school can be tricky enough for neurotypical children in grade six, due to the physical, social, cognitive, emotional and behavioural development that’s occurring at this age,’ she says. 

 Compound that with the additional challenges brought about through Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Cerebral Palsy or intellectual disabilities and this transition can have significant psychological impact for our neurodiverse adolescents”. 

 Jessie says Gaining The Edge was developed to address the concerns raised by many parents and their grade 6 children regarding the transition.  

‘While I was already implementing OT supports and strategies specific to the transition with my clients during individual therapy sessions, could not address every concern within the available time. Being able to deliver this information in a group format has allowed for more comprehensive education, empowering families to be proactive, prepared and confident with their child’s transition.’ 

 ‘The program was fantastic. During the live webinar, Jessie and Jenna were great presenters and provided us with lots of information, including behaviour and responses we could expect from our children during the transition period from their knowledge as Occupational and Speech Therapists.’ – parent 

‘It helps prepare parents and, through them, their children for the massive transition to high school for kids on the spectrum. For the kids, it normalises their experiences and validates them.’ – parent 

Gaining The Edge aims to: 

  • To deliver comprehensive education to empower you to be proactive, prepared and confident with your young person’s transition to secondary school.
  • To identify what therapeutic information you need to communicate to both primary and secondary schools, that is not addressed during school-based transition programs.
  • To provide you with evidence-based recommendations for the most common transitional challenges, which can be easily implemented and adapted to suit your young person’s individual circumstances.

‘Thanks for giving us this wonderful opportunity! It has given me insights and tools to best support my child and to be a stronger advocate for him at the school.’ – parent

‘We were provided with advice on what information should be shared with the school, how to engage with them and how to be proactive in the transition phase. We know that challenges will continue to crop up but feel empowered with information on how to reach out to teachers if need be.’ – parent

If you would like to register your interest for the 2021 program, please fill out the registration form below and email it to:  

Download the Flyer

Download the 2021 Registration Form

View the Gateways Safeguarding Children brochure.

Geelong (Head Office)
03 5221 2984
12-14 Thompson Rd
North Geelong,
Western Melbourne
03 9396 1111
77 Droop St
03 9749 7388
3 Princes Highway
03 5562 8271
171 Lava Street