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OARacle Newsletter

Let’s Get Ready for April Autism Acceptance Month

As we celebrate the beginning of a new year, OAR is also looking ahead to the ambitious goals it has set for 2024, including goals for Autism Acceptance Month. Join us to promote autism awareness and acceptance in your community and across the country.   Goal 1: Support the autism community with information (autistics, families, educators,…

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Supporting Black Autistic Children and Youth

As a 2006 study pointed out, every single ethnic group includes people with disabilities, making them the world’s largest multicultural minority. In the United States, people with disabilities represent 27% of the population. During the 2021-2022 academic year, 7.3 million learners between the ages of 3 and 21 received special education services under provisions of…

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5 Things to Remember about IEPs

One of the first phrases to come to mind when talking about special education is the Individualized Education Program, whose abbreviation, IEP, instantly becomes one of those acronyms you will remember for life. Mention IEPs to parents and teachers alike, and their reaction tells the story. The term conjures up unpleasant memories and is frequently…

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Fall Outreach Campaign Surpasses Goal

OAR set a goal of distributing 15,000 print and digital copies of our information resources through our Higher Education on the Spectrum campaign in the fall of 2023. We surpassed this goal by distributing a total of 17,062 resources to autistic college students, parents, and university professors and staff. These resources cover topics such as…

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Promote Peer Education with the Kit for Kids

OAR’s Kit for Kids peer education program teaches elementary and middle school students about their autistic peers. The Kit’s main component is an illustrated booklet entitled “What’s Up with Nick?” This colorful, kid-friendly booklet tells the story of an autistic student named Nick, as seen through the eyes of a neurotypical peer. The story teaches…

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Promoting Autism Acceptance Through Peer Education

The number of autistic children in general education settings has grown substantially over the past two decades, as noted in a 2016 Education Week article. In the United States, this increase was due in part to the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which mandated that…

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Identifying Effective Prompts to Teach Autistic Children

Behavioral intervention for autistic children focuses on building many skills in a short amount of time through individualized programming. That goal requires effective and efficient teaching strategies, such as prompting, which promotes the acquisition and independence of skills. However, not all prompts are effective for all learners.  In her OAR-funded 2021 study, “Stimulus Prompts in…

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Building Autism Acceptance in the Classroom

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” – Margaret J. Whitley  With the increased number of individuals diagnosed with autism comes a need for increased understanding and acceptance. In order to create that acceptance, more and more schools are including students with disabilities, including autism, in learning…

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Mike Maloney Honored for His Service

OCALI honored Mike Maloney, OAR’s former executive director, with the Jon Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award at OCALICON, its premiere autism and disabilities conference, on November 17, 2023. Mike Maloney served as OAR’s executive director from OAR’s founding in 2001 to December 2022. During his 21-year tenure, OAR funded over 308 research grants totaling more than…

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2024 OAR Scholarship Applications Is Now Open

The application period for the 2024 OAR Scholarship Program opened on Monday, December 4, 2023, and remains open until Monday, April 22, 2024. Applicants may apply to only one of OAR’s scholarships, which include the Schwallie Family Scholarship, the Lisa Higgins Hussman Scholarship, and the Synchrony Scholarship for Autistic Students of Color. Each program offers…

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