Skip to Content
Small changes - big challenges: helping children with autism spectrum conditions through everyday transitions

Small changes - big challenges: helping children with autism spectrum conditions through everyday transitions

Smith, John, 1961-; Smith, Bob, 1995-; Donlan, Jane, 1966-

Facing any type of change can cause confusion and anxiety for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. This book looks at the small transitions in everyday life that can be a big deal for a child with autism and offers simple and effective strategies to make change less of a daily challenge

Paperback, Book. English.
Published London: Jessica Kingsley, 2012

No availability records for this item


Statement of responsibility: John Smith, Jane Donlan and Bob Smith
ISBN: 1849052751, 9781849052757
Physical Description: 192 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Subject: Health and Fitness.; Children with autism spectrum disorders Life skills guides.; Adjustment (Psychology) in children Popular works.; Children with autism spectrum disorders Care Popular works.


  1. Introduction.
  2. Section 1
  3. Issues Related to Change.
  4. 1. Autism/Asperger Syndrome
  5. A Brief Overview.
  6. 2. Change.
  7. 3. Emotions.
  8. 4. Sensory Overload.
  9. Section 2
  10. Examples of Times of Change and How to Use the Transition Techniques at these Times.
  11. 5. Weekends.
  12. 6. Vacations /Holidays.
  13. 7. Public Holidays and Festivals.
  14. 8. Other Examples of Times of Change.
  15. Section 3
  16. Additional Techniques/Strategies to Use at Times of Change and with Autism in General.
  17. 9. Useful Tools to Use with Change
  18. Scripts, Signs and Sketches.
  19. 10. General Advice.
  20. 11. Conclusion.
  21. Useful Resources.

Author note

John Smith is a mental health social worker and Bob's father. Jane Donlan is Bob's mother and has been responsible for Bob's home education. Bob Smith is a teenager who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at age eight. John, Jane and Bob live in the north west of England, UK. They regularly give talks, presentations and workshops to share their practical strategies for parenting children with autism. Their first book Create a Reward Plan for Your Child with Asperger Syndrome is also published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.


I think many parents will find inspiration in this book and, for professionals, any insight as to children's and families' experiences can only be beneficial.||A hallmark of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is difficulty with change. Parents John Smith and Jane Donlan join with 16-year-old son Bob Smith (co-authors, Create a Reward Plan for Your Child with Asperger Syndrome) to address the difficulties that they encountered together with Bob's resistance to change. Whether the change is large or small, Smith and Donlan have developed a strategy using a combination of scripts, signs, and sketches to help Bob, and others with ASD, navigate successfully.... The sample scripts, signs, and sketches, as well as Bob's input, make this a particularly meaningful and useful book. A great addition to any ASD collection; highly recommended.||'This book vies for your attention literally from the minute you see the bold, colourful cover - and it doesn't disappoint... The chapters are short with good size paragraphs that are easy to read... hones and thought provoking. The strategies and techniques suggested throughout the book are extremely useful and manageable... the book is written in such a way that it would give you the confidence to try adapting the techniques to suit the needs of your child... The book is effortless to read as it is written in plain, everyday language... This book would be a perfect reference for parents or carers who need a guide to useful strategies and techniques that could be used or adapted to work for their child. It would also be excellent for anyone who is looking for a plain-speaking, comprehensive book on the subject of "everyday transition". I would definitely recommend it!||This is a positive self-help book written in an easily accessible style.||I think this book would be a useful resource for parents and carers. It is easy to read and the point are illustrated well with the use of case studies. It offers some very practical suggestions and gives examples throughout.||Brilliant in its usefulness and accessibility to all readers, this book successfully addresses a huge issue. Life is all about change, and change is one of the biggest challenges for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. It is time that an entire book deals with this important issue. Authors Smith, Donlan, and Smith accurately describe how transitions affect individuals with autism spectrum disorders. They provide real life situations and solutions that work. Additionally, the authors provide valuable, practice proven tools, such as scripts and signs that may be used for a variety of transition situations. Helping Children with Autism Spectrum Conditions through Everyday Transitions is one of those books that may be considered a "must have".||This easy-to-read book shows a brave honesty and depth of understanding that can be borne only from individual experience. It is so useful to hear Bob's point of view and the book provides helpful practical ideas for every occasion that can be easily put into practice and more importantly might spark the turning point with a difficult issue. This book shows great understanding of the fact that the size of the change is not equal to the enormity of the challenge! It reaches to the sometimes bewildering experience and crucial issues that I hear parents of children with autism spectrum conditions talking about on a daily basis. The authors understand behaviour as a means of communication and represent the impact that the minutiae of everyday life can have on a young person with autism and their families.||A jargon-free book that is easy to read. It recognises day-to-day dilemmas faced by families who have a child with autism. I was able to relate to the real-life experiences illustrated through the case studies, make sense of the practical advice and consider how it could apply to my own situation.||John Smith, along with his wife Jane Donlan and their teenage son with AS, Bob (the darling boy pictured on the cover of the book) have come up with a roadmap to help their son navigate the everyday things that can throw one off, such as getting ready for Christmas or planning a vacation to Florida... This book should have been around yesterday, so that I wouldn't have been so anxious and overstimulated at Christmas!