Skip to main content

OARacle Newsletter

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 children that autistic students may think differently or need some accommodations, but all students are of equal worth and should be treated as such.

The Kit for Kids program promotes more inclusive classrooms where autistic students are respected and valued. For use with children in grades K-8, the Kit for Kids peer education program takes a fun, kid-friendly approach to helping neurotypical children better understand their autistic peers. Since its introduction in April 2012, the Kit, which includes the “What’s Up with Nick?” story, has reached over 190,000 students. 

Recently, the Kit for Kids program was used across the Hillsborough Township School District in New Jersey to teach elementary school students about autism acceptance. Mike Volpe, superintendent of schools, said, “This program is a great example of social and emotional learning and helps students understand and empathize with those around them, most especially students with autism.” 

Each kit comes with: 

  • 20 “What’s Up with Nick?” booklets 
  • A how-to-use sheet 
  • A lesson plan 
  • A classroom poster 
  • A lesson tips sheet 

You can order up to two kits for free from OAR’s online store. To use this program on a school- or district-wide level, please reach out to Kim Ha, senior director of research and programs.  

Apply for a Grant to Promote Autism Acceptance

Check out our Peer Education Grant to learn how you can receive a grant of $500 to $5,000 for your school to promote autism acceptance. Applications are due January 22, 2024. If you have questions, reach out to Vivian Muhumuza, grants and programs associate.  

Additional Resources

In addition to the Kit, OAR offers these supplemental materials for the classroom: 

  • Activity workbooks 
  • Friendship tip sheets 
  • Autism Tuned In (online learning platform) 
  • Student rewards kit