The IPA2 project works to decrease difficulties that students on the autism spectrum face, specifically during the transition from primary to secondary school in order to tackle early school leaving and disadvantage. Funded by the European Commission, the outputs of this project target both teachers, and autistic students and their peers in order to implement prevention measures and reduce risks of social exclusion, school failure, and school dropout.
At a school level, students on the autism spectrum have specific needs in different educational stages, since difficulties derived from the disorder itself are heightened by the demands at school. It is during the transition from primary to secondary school when the new school demands can produce symptoms of anxiety and depression in autistic students. In many cases, the new school demands and the resulting challenges can cause low academic performance and early school leaving, as well as other severe consequences such as social isolation (or exclusion) and even bullying. This demonstrates the need to introduce changes in an educational context.
In this sense, the IPA2 project aims at decreasing school vulnerability of students on the autism spectrum in their transition from primary to secondary school.
The project will also improve relationships in school between autistic students and their peers and classmates, and provide teachers from primary and secondary schools with strategies to improve the academic performance of their autistic students, and to reduce their anxieties and stress related to school issues.